Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Camp Sky Part One

Malawian students + PCVs = Camp Sky!

Camp Sky was an amazing week! 72 students from all across Malawi came
to learn about math, english and science to prepare for their Malawi School Certificate Exam (MSCE).  There were also 8 Junior Counselors who had attended camp last year and were selected to come back and assist the new campers. Then add about 20 PCV Teachers/Counselors and you have the Camp Sky team.

This year the camp was held at Kamuzu Academy in the Kasungu District in the Central Region of Malawi. The school was closed for Easter Break so they let us use their wonderful facilities for Camp Sky. The campus had brick buildings, manicured lawns, a huge library, computer labs, science laboratories, a pool, a cafeteria and a football field. They even had a beautiful lake in the center of the campus.  It looked like a university in America.

I was a Teacher Counselor at the camp. I taught lessons during the day, and in the evenings I acted as a Camp Counselor for a group of 9 students, along with my PCV Co-Counselor Devyn and a Junior Counselor named Sinoss. Here is a photo of my group, the Bald Eagles.

I taught Biology from 7:30 to 12:00 each day with my PCV co-teachers Kade and Steph. We covered Genetics and Evolution. It was wonderful to be able to teach such small classes. We taught the students in groups of 18, so the teacher:student ratio was 1:6. We were able to provide individual student assistance and answer lots of questions. I also really enjoyed the co-teaching. It was fun to bounce ideas off each other and I received a lot of good ideas and feedback from them. Plus it was nice to have help with passing things out, erasing the chalkboard, and getting prepped for class. I wish I could teach with them all the time.

After lunch the students attended science and computer labs. I assisted in the Biology and Physical Science labs. For Biology the students were given a different ecosystem (dryland, forest or
lakeshore) and asked to come up with a bird that would be adapted for that environment based on the resources available in the habitat. Then they had to present it to the class.  Here is a group presenting their bird for the dryland habitat.

And one of their birds too:

In Physical Science lab the students did a titration.  They added NaOH to an aqueous solution of HCl with phenolphthalein indicator included. Here is one group after completing their titration.  It was only a very light pink-- a perfect titration!

More Camp Sky to come in part two...

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