Week 3 in Dakar – All Good Things Must Come to an End

posted in: CV STEM 2015 | 0

Farmata, Empowerment Agent in Dakar

July 25, 2015

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. We have reached our last week of activities at the Dakar camp.

This week we were joined by a lovely lady, Aiseta Baradji who is the Director of Nerdy Curriculum at iNERDE. She came in and integrated with the kids right away.

We started the week off with another round of jeopardy. I was really proud of the kids during jeopardy because contrarily to the first time, they were really into it and had answered most of the questions correctly. It’s safe to say that they were following in class. We had a surprise visits on that same day. We had two young men who invented a device called E-Control. They came in to talk about their device and in the process they inspired the kids to become better versions of them and to grow up and become a change in the world. By the end of their visit, the kids were sad to see them go and tried to continue their conversations with them during the break.

The next day, was a fascinating day for the kids. We taught them the importance of conserving clean water and to appreciate it because many people don’t have access to clean water. We taught them to filter dirty water. A lot of the kids were skeptical when we showed them how to make a filter. They didn’t believe that the filter they were about to make could turn dirty water cleaner. When they had their filter in place and ready, we provided them with dirty water so that they can start the process of filtration. When they saw the first clean drop of water, they exclaimed “Madame, ca marche.” (Miss, it works!). Their faces lit up and they were so excited. The next activity which was molecular science got them as excited as well. I popped a balloon in class using vinegar and baking soda. This was a fun way to teach them about chemical reactions and atoms.

On Wednesday, we did a small round of jeopardy to test their knowledge on what they had learned the previous day. It was a great success. We helped the kids work on their projects by introducing them to PowerPoint. They will use PowerPoint to help them present their projects.

Thursday was field trip day. We took the kids to ANACIM (Agence Nationale d’Avation Civile et de la Meterologie). ANACIM is a weather control station situated at the airport. The kids were very fascinated and they learned aspects of the weather that they never knew. They saw a balloon filled with hydrogen gas released into the air. The balloon serves as a recording device. It tells the meteorologists everything that is happening in the space, from temperature to the speed of wind and also the level of humidity. We were also given a presentation on the climate change and the greenhouse effect. Our last stop was at the newsroom where we met the weatherman of the news channel RTS1. The kids were given the opportunity to present the weather forecast to see how it gets done before it is broadcasted on TV. At the end of the visit, some kids told me that they wanted to do the visit again. This made me really proud because we were able to bring the kids to a place where not only will they learn a lot, but also have fun in the process. On our way back to school, we stopped by the airport terminal to meet Monique Diaw, one of our student’s mothers. She is the Delta Airlines flight manager here in Dakar. She explained her role and how she got to be a flight manager. She gave each of us chocolate and a Delta Airlines pin. In all, we had a great day.

On Friday, we spent the whole day working on the projects and helping the kids with their PowerPoint presentations. All the groups have assembled their projects and some just need to add in the finishing touches.

We had a fantastic week and I’m proud to say that the camp had a huge impact on the kids. Hopefully we will be able to impact more and more kids in the coming years.