Pivot Academy Bringing Quality STEM & ICT Education to Girls

Project Description

Historically, STEM education in East African countries is based on rote learning from outdated textbooks. Girls in particular have limited access to quality STEM lessons and experimentation. In 2016, Pivot Academy brought Tablet-based learning and experiments to nearly 200 teachers and students at an all-girls high school "Biyimana" in Rwanda's rural Ruhango District. In 2017, the program expanded to all five of the District's science curriculum-focused high schools.

Education officials in East African countries from Kenya to South Sudan are emphasizing that they can't depend solely on NGOs to solve problem. They see shifts in STEM education for young people, including for girls, as the way to accelerate and sustain development. The challenge is the gap in teacher knowledge of competency-based tools and technology to support interactive STEM learning. This gap is pronounced in emergency and conflict zones where hands-on labs and equipment are unavailable. Because the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan are all part of an East Africa bloc, education standards are increasingly aligned, making it possible to replicate Pivot Academy broadly across school districts, countries, and urban and rural environments.

Project Details

  • Pivot Academy combines a week-long Boot Camp-style teacher training, followed by a Student Academy, reinforced by online lessons provided on Android Tablets and aligned with each country's mandated national STEM curriculum and IB standards.
  • The content includes videos and hundreds of demonstration experiments that can be conducted with simple materials or on the Tablets themselves.
  • Supplemental tools such as group discussion threads allow teachers to share progress with one another and virtual coaches from the US. Teachers can easily understand and track which experiments link to mandated curriculum progress.
  • In low-tech environments, the content can be accessed without WiFi and with low energy/charging demands.

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