The first cohort of 25 science and math teachers from fifteen schools in the Copperbelt Province in Zambia graduated from two weeks of Funzeleo training on February 2019. With their new credentials, these teachers are now equipped to serve 5,000 students in 2019 as part of Funzeleo’s Engineering and Technology Program. Highlights from the training included:
- Administration of DISC – a personality assessment tool to help the teachers identify their unique behavior patterns around four well-researched characteristics: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Consciousness. None of the teachers had had prior exposure to personality-assessment tools.
- A presentation of science projects, for which winning teams received awards and prizes, was evaluated by a panel of judges handpicked for their expertise in business and education. The winning teams were distinguished by their ability to involve students in developing and delivering the results, the use of locally available materials to create the products, and the utility of the invention in the local market.
- Unprecedented appreciation for STEM education and opportunities it offers in the community, schools, and the overall economic wellbeing of the country. A comment from one of the teachers best captured the impact of the experience: The Funzeleo experiences serve as a “reminder of the importance of science and mathematics as tools to impart engineering skills in learners so that Africa can have as many engineers as possible in future.”
The next cohort of teachers in Zambia will begin their training in early September 2019. Meanwhile, we will maintain an ongoing relationship with the recent graduates through alumni reunions, continued learning opportunities, and engagement in the future as mentors and instructors of others.