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Redefining the fun in science exploration PDF Print E-mail

energy-battleAs early as nine a.m last Saturday, Little Einsteins East Africa were already setting up their stands at the Aga Khan High School (Waiyaki Way) in Nairobi, Kenya. Children as young as three years old were preparing to make homemade thermometers, rockets and parachutes. Others were ready to showcase their science experiments to answer questions like why things float on water, how to prevent rust, how a diaper works and even simple ways of making a special day pop-up message.

 

We were intrigued to see Little Einsteins inventing their own ways of, for example, learning the times-table using home-made thimbles, how to crack a coconut safely, ways of reusing water among others. Keeping track of term weeks using a simple solar calendar which the young inventor plans to digitize was also a breathe of fresh air. There were also plenty of games for the children to play like golf and lego building, mascots running around and lots of musical and comical entertainment.diy

BINGWA Magazine thrives on interactions so we talked to the children, facilitators and parents present to establish their thoughts on the event. One group calling themselves the Elementrix who had come all the way from Shah Lalji Nangpar Academy in Nakuru talked to us about their experiment and experience at the science fair. “We were thinking about how we could make the world a better place by conserving energy. Initially, the idea was to make a light or a clock using energy from a lemon or potato. This would have taken a lot of time and resources which we did not have enough of, so we settled on the energy battle to establish which one (between the lemon and potato) had a higher voltage,” Newton Munene, one of the members explained.

times-tables-timbleAs for Maureen Achieng, a class six pupil at Kibera School for Girls, she enjoyed seeing all the science experiments conducted by Little Einsteins. “One of the most important lessons I learnt (thanks to the acidic versus basic fruits experiment) was that when taking fruit juices, it is always best to use a straw in order to avoid direct contact with the teeth and prevent decay,” she said.

“It was interesting to see how much creativity and innovation children have. I loved all the presentations. However, some of the ones that surprised me were the simple rocket and diaper ones,” said Mr. Kris Senanu, one of the judges at the fair.mugure

According to one of Little Einsteins East Africa Directors, Sandra Nduati, they decided to do the science fair so that the general public (including parents) could see what the children have been doing during the in-school activities, on-site workshops and their other events. “One of the lessons we learnt is that the best thing to do is to plan at least six months in advance. We only had three months to prepare for this first one. Next year, we foresee more schools participating as well as more vendors at the event,” she added.

The fact that Little Einsteins build their interest in science is one of the reasons parents sign up their children for their on-site workshops or holiday camps. Others are also fascinated by the fact that the facilitators are professional. “My son is interested in explosions so I’d want to see something like that in the next fair. It was great to meet the edutainers because they all have a science background ,” said Joyce, a mother of an eight year-old girl and six year old boy.

Simba Safe KenyaBesides all the science and fun at the event, there was also a lesson on safety. Facilitated by Maryana Munyendo of Simba Safe Kenya, a lesson on safe strangers was also given. “Who is a stranger?” was the first question. Children in attendance learnt that one example of a safe strangers is people in uniform. THese safe stangers can be helpful to approach when in distress.

Teamwork, clarity of expression, knowledge, originality and creativity, mathematics, engineering, technology, animal and environmental science and the best overall winner were some of the categories. From the shinning stars, the space kids, the super scientists, the sparkling scientists, the quad team to the Elementrix, all these brilliant teams took home a prize and a certificate. The best overall prize was taken by Kayla of Hillcrest School for her ‘times-tables thimble’ invention (Mathematics Category).awarding

The event ended with the launch of their Youtube Science Show LE-TV, which provides an audiovisual forum for children (aged 3-12 years), teachers and parents to learn science and have fun.

 

 

overall winners“Science is about curiosity, asking questions about everything around you and then trying. When it comes to science, there is never a right or wrong answer, so keep trying, stay curious and discover- Avic Ndugu, Little Einsteins Edutainer.