The Ghana Goats made the final leg of our journey into Sunyani on Saturday. We will be staying on the campus of the University of Energy and Natural Resources for the rest of our time in Ghana, with small excursions into other areas of the country. As soon as we moved into the dorms, we hit the ground running with meetings with contacts and visiting key areas like the market. At first, we were all a little overwhelmed by the new area, but we managed to survive on our own in the market to get supplies for dinner- even if it was just plain rice with fried vegetables on top.
The next morning, we got up early and made the trip to Babianeha with Dr. Opuni, a key contact for the program here in Ghana, who drove us and even introduced us to some great bread on the way. Once in Babianeha, we met with the Opuni family and exchanged contact information. For a quick excursion, we hiked out to the egg farm and met with some more of the family. After that, we walked over to where the schools and community center are, the two main locations where we will be working. With Dr. Opuni as our guide, we ventured into the border town separating Ghana and Ivory Coast to meet some more people who will help us be successful during our time there. After a quick lunch back at the Opuni house, the team traveled back to Sunyani for some more exploration of useful locations.
The next morning, the team spent our last day with Andrew, our advisor, by meeting Nana’s mother who runs a pharmacy, meeting the headmaster of the Ridge Experimental Schools, and locating the trotro station that will eventually allow us to travel back to Babianeha at a later date. While we had prepared some ideas for activities for the schools, we didn’t want to do something with the students if it was ultimately irrelevant to their studies, so we asked the headmaster what they would like us to teach while we are there. There was some exchange on what we could feasibly teach them without going outside of our abilities and it was decided we would teach basic electronics to two classes on Wednesday (today) and math to one class on Thursday (tomorrow). Armed with only some photos of a textbook, a science kit, and a general idea of a syllabus, the team headed out.
Yesterday, the team spent the entire day researching activities for basic circuits and using the kits to build engaging projects for the students. After several hours of Google, trial and error, and a nap break, the team had a lesson plan for both levels we would be teaching. We had an early night last night to allow us enough sleep to get to the schools by 7:30AM to meet the teachers again and be introduced to the classes.
The first class we taught had a little bit of a rough start, but, with some good communication, we settled into a rhythm. Soon, the students were building little circuits of their own and engaging with us on the activity. The second form was a little bit older and had a bit more knowledge about the circuits we were building, though they had not worked with the science kits from the school before. Our activity got off to a rough start, but we made our way around the room to help the students and everyone, including us, seemed to have learned a bit from it. Our final activity revolved around the difference between parallel and series connections in circuits- figuring out how to get a buzzer and an LED to work at the same time in the small circuit. It took the students a second to figure out how to connect elements in parallel, but soon the room was filled with the high pitched buzz from the speakers signaling success. Tonight, we will finish developing our lesson plan for the math lesson tomorrow and then we will head to the school in the morning.
Catch you next time!
–Lucinda, Becky, and Tristan