The 2014 National Science and HIV/AIDS Prevention Fair is in the books! I’m incredibly proud of the work all PCVs and our fantastic counterparts at the Ministry of Science and Technology have done to make it happen from the district to the national level. It’s been quite the experience working on such a large-scale project with many moving parts (that aren’t always working in exact unison), but seeing the smiles (and tears of joy) on the winners faces as they received their new laptops and the wonderful support we received in celebration of science was well worth the effort! Below is our end of the year recap that will go into the Peace Corps Moz Newsletter, enjoy.
National Science and HIV/AIDS Prevention Fair 2014
The goal of the Science and HIV/AIDS Prevention Fair is to provide an opportunity for experiential learning and to promote scientific inquiry. The program provides students with the information necessary to strive for an HIV/AIDs free generation, through prevention outreach.
Science Fair in 2014
This year, the Science and HIV/AIDS Prevention Fair exceeded expectations by reaching some of the most remote districts in Mozambique, culminating in a two day National Fair in Maputo, presided over by the Minister of Science and Technology, Louis Pelembe.
District/Provincial Science Fairs - Science Fair is built on the hard work of professors, students, technical experts and volunteers in schools across the country. In 2014, an estimated 100 of Mozambique’s 128 districts held District Fairs, including isolated districts such as Sanga, Niassa and Moma, Nampula.
The Science Fair provided information and inspiration to thousands of students through participation in district fairs and brought the most innovative young scientists to compete at the provincial level. At the provincial fairs, PCVs, working side by side with Mozambican technical experts from the Ministry of Science and Technology, MST, organized creative HIV/AIDS prevention activities to help combat the spread of the disease. In Quelimane, Zambezia, a student performed interactive poetry, recounting a narrative about a young couple educating each other about how to create a healthy relationship.
National Science Fair - Two winners from each province were invited to a two day national competition held in Maputo Province, in the city of Matola. The attendance of the Minister of Science and Technology, Louis Pelembe, represented a milestone for Science Fair’s relationship with the highest level of Mozambican government.
The first day of the Fair included a public exposition with 50 students and 20 professors showcasing their projects. Local dance and theater groups, focusing on the HIV/AIDS prevention message, performed to a crowd of over 1000 spectators. On the second day, winners from each province presented their projects to a panel of five judges and an audience of 800. The event also featured a lively question and answer period about HIV/AIDS by health experts providing free testing and counseling.
The winning project for 8th - 10th graders was created by Deolinda Mucoque from Maputo Province with her project, Fabrico de Tintas The winner for 11th and 12th grade was Charnaldo Victor from Sofala Province (where all Fairs were entirely organized and run by MST) with his project, Producao de Corrente Electrica a Partir de Terra Fertil.
The Minister of Science and Technology was quoted in a national newspaper, Jornal Noticias, “Queremos saudar os professores e voluntários do Corpo da Paz pela dedicação e imaginação na forma como acompanham desde as zonas mais recônditas, guiam e apoiam os alunos na aprendizagem das ciências experimentais através dos clubes espalhados pelo país, adoptando formas de suporte aos conhecimentos teóricos aprendidos nas escolas.”
Translation: “We want to recognize the professors and volunteers of Peace Corps for their dedication and imagination in the form of helping the hard to reach areas of Mozambique; guiding and supporting the students in the learning of experimental science through their clubs spread throughout the country, adopting and offering forms of support to the theoretical knowledge learned in the school system.”
Full article here: http://pxc.ms.sl.pt