STEM Based Learning
In 2017, the multi-year regional and national award-winning Quixilver 604 Robotics team of Leland High School, San Jose donated LEGO Scout robots to our school. They also created a booklet of 17 STEM-based experiments which we translated into Khmer and distributed to schools we are partnering with.
During our January 2017 visit, our board members worked with teachers to demonstrate programming using the LEGO robots, and used Quixilver 604's booklet to conduct STEM experiments involving static electricity and magnetics.
In the U.S., STEM-based hands-on curricula is becoming commonplace. In contrast, Cambodian education traditionally employs rote "call and response" learning: all students are 'called' upon to give answers in unison. And further, village schools have no science labs. Thus, the individual student does not get a chance to discover science fundamentals via basic physical exploration.
Leland High School's Quixilver 604 team's efforts have begun to change that at our school. Our teachers felt viscerally the excitement generated by the Quixilver 604 Robotics teams' experiments and LEGO robots. As a result, they asked us to fund a "science lab' at our school. When we asked them what they wanted for their "science lab", they didn't know. In the end, they just wanted to give our students a sustainable way to generate excitement through the magic of science throughout each academic year.
Now, we are collecting funding to build a science lab, based on such successes as those at Hacienda Elementary School, San Jose. We are currently raising funds to purchase microscopes, a weather station, and basic materials for experiments such as pH strips, measuring and weighing devices, etc. Click on the Take Action button below if you would like to help fund a science lab.
Additionally, during our February 2018 visit, we will use a STEM-based hands-on learning derived from a Girl Scout Gold Award-winning project created by a Girl Scout from our San Jose area as a template for a hands-on curriculum.
Last, we are now focusing on crafting STEM-based lessons involving the fundamentals of plant life (e.g. transpiration, use of sunlight and soil nutrients for growth, etc.). We will use the demonstration garden that is part of Girl Scout Sofie Gmerek's Gold Award project as a teaching tool for these lessons.
Left: The cover page of Leland Quixilver 604 Robotics Team's booklet of STEM experiments. 2nd left: Leland Quixilver 604 Robotics Team. 2nd right: We funded translation into Khmer of the team's booklet and gave copies to three Cambodian schools. Right: Girls playing with balloons used for the static electricity experiment. Most had never seen a balloon before.
Note: 100% of all donations will be used to fund projects and programs for village students, alumni, teachers, and families. No funds will ever be used to fund administrative expenses or board member travel and expenses.
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