I Am Science – a new free Science app offering great opportunities for high school girls in disadvantaged areas


SchoolNet SA was
invited to brainstorm at the Goethe Institut more than a year ago.  It is most pleasing to now report on the
outcome – a new Science learning app called
I am Science
which targets early high school girls in disadvantaged areas and
aims to smash gender stereotyping in science, biased against girls and women.   The initiative is being implemented by the
Goethe-Institut with support from the GIZ and financial support from the German
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Goethe
Institut was concerned that only 30% of science researchers in the world are
women and the gender, digital and science divide has only increased in
developing countries since 2013. Bridging this gap is complicated because its
roots run deep. Unequal access to education for girls; gender stereotypes and
poor access to science labs are just some of the obstacles in the way of girls
being curious about science and technology.


That’s where I Am
Science
comes in. The project combines science activities; video, and
digital learning with the dual aim of increasing curiosity in science and
changing perceptions about girls in science. At after-school events, the
project offers groups of girls the chance to do hands-on science activities and
be professionally filmed doing these. The videos are then turned into video
quizzes and published on a popular learning app: http://mylevelup.mobi/iamscience  where other South African teens can earn data
and airtime as a reward for doing them.



Want
to get more involved? Teens can use the mobisite to apply for the I am Science team from the Goethe
Institut to visit their school. Are you a teacher looking for unique,
supplementary teaching content? The videos are divided into categories such as
‘Catalysts’ and ‘Air pressure’ on the mobisite and are a great way to introduce
peer-to-peer learning into your classroom.

Through I Am
Science
, teen girls will touch, hear and see the scientific concepts
they’ve only heard about from words on a chalkboard. They are able to watch
themselves and their peers in high-quality videos of science activities. They are
able to say, ‘I am science’, because science is all around us. And it is for
everyone, no matter who you are, or where you come from.


For
the past 2 months, I Am Science has implemented programmes at 3 Gauteng schools. Professionally-produced
videos of girls from Soweto, Tembisa and Alexandra doing hands-on science
activities have been uploaded to YouTube & turned into video quizzes –
published on the learning app Levelup.  @_IAmScience
is the first project in South Africa to co-create peer-to-peer, educational,
science video content with girls. The Levelup app allows teen users to earn
digital tokens for submitting correct answers which are redeemable for airtime
and data.  Visit the app to see how it
works: http://mylevelup.mobi/iamscience

  1. I Am Science – How do you crush a can without standing on it? http://bit.ly/2BRQsiR 
  2. Can you set your hand on fire without burning it? http://bit.ly/2j4F92l 
  3. How do you make a fire without using matches? http://bit.ly/2AnFVyE

As reported by Fundisiwe Maseko in IT News
Africa, “Not only do girls get to star in a professional video in which they
demonstrate science activities but the programme also allows for time to demonstrate
these to their classmates and teachers, thereby flipping traditional
teaching-learning roles.  Through the
creation and dissemination of free and unique science learning content, the
project will continue in 2018 to contribute towards the ultimate goal of
propelling more girls towards science-related career. “


For further information visit the project website https://www.iamscienceproject.com/

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