During PST they taught us about TALULAR, which stands for "Teaching and Learning Using Limited Resources". As PCV teachers in the poorest schools in Malawi, which is the poorest country in Africa, TALULAR is a necessity.
For the Mock Physical Science exams last term, I was in charge of setting up a practice experiment for the students according to guidance provided by our local education cluster. For the experiment we needed a clamp stand, string, a metre ruler, a stopwatch and several masses (50g, 100g, 150g). Looking through our supplies, I found three clamp stands, four rulers, a couple working stopwatches, plenty of string and enough masses for three experiments. So basically I could do three setups. At 30 minutes per experiment x 65 kids, that meant it would take about 11 hours for them all to finish. However we only had one day to do the mock practicals, as they had different practicals scheduled the next day, Plus it gets dark pretty early here. But have no fear, TALULAR to the rescue!
The setup with the original equipment:
The TALULAR setup for the experiment:
We used the ubiquitous blue jumbos (plastic bags that are used to sell produce in the village markets) filled with the correct masses of dirt and suspended them from whatever we could find, like a shovel. The teacher helping me had just bought some watches for his kids, so he lent us those for the experiment to use as makeshift stopwatches.
With the TALULAR setups, we were able to set up an additional four stations, so we finished while it was still daylight. The TALULAR versions worked great, and allowed all the students to practice this experiment for the Mock Exam. Now if this practical comes up on the National MSCE Exams in June, they will be prepared.