Primary School Engagement
Overview of PSE
The Primary Schools Engagement (PSE) promotes interest in science by drawing on locally available resources to engage learners in practical science activities in their respective schools. Over the last 3 years, we have developed a range of practical activities aligned to the primary school curriculum. These are student-led and are implemented through science clubs by arranging sessions, distributing activity packs and teacher’s instruction sheets during after-school club time.
Highlights of Some of our Engagement Activities;
Comic Book Strip – Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
We engage primary science clubs in an exciting comic book strip on sickle cell disease inspired by stories from real-life sickle cell heroes within Kilifi County. Their invaluable experiences and successes go a long way to help pupils to change their perspectives on the disease.
Schools participate by reading the comic book strip, role playing and discussing. A curriculum link is established by helping pupils to relate circulatory system concepts (components of blood, their functions etc.) with how KEMRI conducts research on SCD by studying the red blood cells.
Exploring Potential Science Careers
Exciting activity to help primary school pupils identify with potential science careers out there! The aim is to help children develop their potential, interests & talents in line with the National Education Goal number 3 of the Kenya Primary Education Curriculum.
In this activity, pupils have a go in groups, at discussing various science related careers known to them (for example, researcher, nurse, lab tech, communication officer, doctor etc.) and requirements, qualifications and whether they think males or females are suited for those.
Plenary discussion held to clarify academic requirements & emphasize equal opportunity. Learners then watch a success story video of a young KEMRI-Researcher (Jacob Kazungu) from Ganze Sub-county.
The KEMRI-Primary School Symposium
A year-long of interactions with science clubs in schools culminates with the annual primary science symposium. The symposium is an opportunity to bring together all participating science clubs from various schools for a fun-filled ‘science meet-up’ at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme premises. This is a platform for young learners to visit a research facility, exchange ideas, develop their curiosity and present their own projects to peers.
A panel of judges then assesses the projects and gives feedback to pupils. Winning projects receive fantastic prizes for their efforts! We emphasize practical learning and participation over competition!’
The KEMRI-Primary Science Practicals Booklet
We are currently working with a publishing consultancy to produce a primary schools practical science resource pack to support facilitation of primary school science clubs, raise interest in school science and enhance understanding of locally conducted research through practical science activities in local schools, within Kilifi.