WS2 was awarded an American Physical Society Innovation Fund to form international teams to design and distribute low-cost physics and materials science Lab Kits relevant to elementary and secondary school students across the world. Funding from our award was used to distribute these Kits to partners in eastern Africa.
Lab Kit documents are now available for free download and use! Lab Kit topics include Energy Transfer, Food Science, and Light & Color for Primary and Secondary level and Electrostatics for Secondary level. We are pleased to provide the documents in Swahili and English. WS2 thanks our Partners and Lab Kit Design teams for all of their hard work designing and testing these Lab Kits.
From 2020-2022, WS2 spearheaded the Lab Kit Initiative during which low-cost physics and materials science laboratory kits for K-12 students were designed and distributed to schools in eastern Africa.
During the design phase, seven international teams comprised of 59 volunteers (over 70% women) created 3 Lab Kits for primary level students and 4 Lab Kits for secondary level students on the topics of food science, electrostatics, light and color, and energy transfer.
These low-cost Lab Kits that utilize easy-to-source materials were distributed to eleven partners from Ethiopia (2), Kenya (2), Rwanda (1), Tanzania (5), and Uganda (1), and over 5100 students at over 40 school sites engaged with our Lab Kits, with 62% being girls. These visits corresponded to 300 hours of student engagement with the Lab Kits and involvement of 141 teachers and 143 facilitators.
Survey results of students that used the Lab Kits indicated positive engagement; when asked if they liked the Lab Kit, primary level students answered on average 3.6/4, with 4 being “YES!!”, and secondary level students answered on average 4.5/5 on a 1-5 scale rating with 5 being the highest. Importantly, self-perception of girls being skilled in science or seeing themselves as scientists improved after using the Lab Kits. In the case of secondary level girls who rated themselves as being skilled in science on a scale from 1-5 with 5 being the highest, the improvement in self-perception after using the Lab Kits increased from a rating of 3.2/5 to 3.9/5.