Young at Heart Ghana, a social enterprise that is championing the use of digital platforms to create exciting learning experiences for youth and children has introduced its flagship project “Lab and Library on Wheels”, which addresses the absence of requisite facilities and support equipment for quality, practical and effective education.
Lab and Library on Wheels (LLoW) offers a cost-effective wheelable facility which gives students in rural/low-income community schools access to digital tools, e-learning resources, practical kits and books to enhance practical and hands-on skills. The wheelable facility houses laptops and tablets as well as an offline resource access to lessons.
One of the major offline resources is the “S.T.E.A.M Around Me Module” which provides a guide to students and teachers to explore a locally developed, GES supported, e-learning platform (Ananse The Teacher App). The e-learning platform directs users in using local materials to conduct practical lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M). The unit also houses practical kits for conducting various experiments and hands-on activities as well as selected books to compliment the e-books.
The full technology lab unit houses up to 20 laptops as well as an offline resource access to lessons. One of the major offline resources is the “S.T.E.A.M Around Me Module” which provides a guide to students and teachers to explore a locally developed e-learning platform (Ananse The Teacher App), and directs users in using local materials to conduct practical lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
The library unit carries 50 books and the light unit will store up to 50 mini solar lamps. The light and technological lab units are
will be initially powered by electricity, then ultimately solar.
On the new project, Co-Founder and National Coordinator of Young at Heart Ghana, Martin Bruce said, “we are deeply excited about this project which has the potential to catapult Digital Literacy and STEAM education to another level in the country. We are particularly excited about the launch of the first version of the unit with the GE Kujenga Gives Grant. We look forward to more partnerships”
Lab and Library on Wheels is a new alternative which was developed taking into consideration the successes, challenges and experiences acquired from already existing pilot projects.
Young At Heart Ghana, an ed-tech non-profit founded by Miss Josephine Marie Godwyll and Mr. Martin Bruce, have tested the individual concepts that inform the different parts of the alternative.
“For us, the ‘Lab and Library Wheels’ represents our constant pursuit for innovative ways of empowering the next generation of digital innovators as our tagline emphasizes. We will synchronize our already existing e-learning tools such as the “Ananse the Teacher App” with the new innovation to help deploy the Lab and Library on Wheels on a larger scale,” Miss Godwyll, Founder of Young at Heart Ghana, reiterated.
On March 1, the first unit of the “Lab and Library on Wheels” project was launched at the Nana Kobina Gyan School, at Adiembra in Takoradi. The first unit contained 20 digital tools (laptops and tablets) and provides offline access to the “S.T.E.A.M around me Module” and the Ananse The Teacher App, practical STEAM kits and books.
The lab and Library on Wheels unit will be available for ICT practicals. Teachers have been trained on existing STEAM modules developed based on the GES syllabus. The app and its related modules will be utilized by students in an after-school club #DiggieClub and the books will be available for use during library periods.
Through the partnership with General Electric, Kumasi Hive and support from Novan Education, PiloloGh, Junior Camp, NSBE, Gh Scientific and CommsAid, organizers hope to launch a second unit in another school in the coming days and a third in the second quarter of the year.
Young At Heart Ghana looks forward to other partnerships as it seeks to scale and implement the light carries rechargeable lamps for students in communities with no access to electricity. Its focus is on ensuring that no child is left behind in acquiring critical skills relevant for this digital age and the next.