President of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) Section E1, Dr. Janaka Adassuriya, has sent the following request related to two projects to improve the science literacy among the secondary school students, especially those in rural areas of Sri Lanka. Those who would like to contribute or require further details on these projects may contact Dr. Adassuriya at email@example.com.
1. Create Our Own Lab (COOL)
The Section E1 of SLAAS is organizing teacher training workshops on creating their own active teaching/ learning environments by producing simple lab instruments with readily available resources. The lack of practical skills and experience on handling lab equipment is a major drawback in the present education system in Sri Lanka. Therefore, this effort is to first train and provide hands on experience to teachers and thereby transferring that knowledge and skills to the students.
COOL is a program primarily focused on the science teachers in schools and teacher training schools to demonstrate how to handle and even make simple lab equipment with the cheaply available resources. In addition to this activity, SLAAS is expected to introduce interactive teaching techniques using the software and other web resources.
The primary objectives of this program are:
(a) to produce creative minds by encouraging students to make their own instruments needed for lessons,
(b) to fulfill the needs of simple laboratory equipment and demonstration kits in schools, and
(c) to even create their own industry to make lab equipment.
Section E1 of SLAAS is looking forward to the possibility of collecting monetary donations from local and international donors to make a set of lab equipment and demonstration kits to conduct the training program. The estimated budget for this project is Rs 55,000.
2. Vidya Piyasa Program
The Section E1 of SLAAS is organizing a program to make a learning space for the less privileged schools in rural communities in Sri Lanka with less than 1000 students. Vidya Piyasa is a learning space that provides an entire school with access to educational books and other learning materials especially related to science.
The schools that receive a Vidya Piyasa‚ will be schools in rural communities in Sri Lanka. SLAAS have already identified a school in Serunuwara in the Trincomalee District. Section E1 has identified the following items (used or new) that would be useful for the students in the selected schools.
* Books and Magazines (books could be of any subject and books written in Sinhala/Tamil/English focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are encouraged; the textbooks used in introductory level science courses in the North America are also suitable.)
* CDs/DVDs of scientific documentaries