From December 12th-16th 2016, our STEP team ran hands-on activities with the students at Aldeia das Artes, a project giving access to education and learning to 1500 children in Angola. Throughout the week, 140 children took part in various activities to explore scientific concepts along with arts, music, language and confidence building games.
Following an introduction to the STEP initiative and the work of the Planet Earth Institute, the students at Aldeia das Artes got straight into some interactive science, delving into paper chromatography, a technique used to separate and showcase the various coloured components within a liquid. Students then got to grips with some other core scientific elements such as air resistance and static, through some parachute activities and games, and examined issues such as individual and community well-being. The classes were taught in English with translation to support the development of the students’ language skills, and the final day saw a musical, christmas-inspired production of everything that the students had learnt!
The Aldeia das Artes project, launched by Angolan entrepreneur Dra. Ana Madaleno of national healthcare consultancy Consaude, supports the children on the island of Mussulo with educational and social activities, from music to vocational training and English language skills. The project also provides health, welfare and well-being services. The project is based on the island of Mussulo, housed in a specially constructed centre with classrooms, an art centre, library and outdoor recreational areas. The entire centre is decorated by local artists with murials and large collages of the children bringing the building to life as the home for learning and play. “We want to promote the social inclusion of children of the island by teaching community values and breaking social barriers” says Ms Madaleno.
Although the Planet Earth Institute has been partnered with Aldeia das Artes since its launch in 2012, this is the first time that our team has joined forces to run educational programmes, building on the successful first year of the Science and Technology Enrolment Programme (STEP), which has run eight study days in Mauritius with over 500 secondary school students.
Dr. Álvaro Sobrinho, PEI Chairman, says, “I am delighted that STEP, which has already experienced great success in Mauritius in 2016, has partnered with the outstanding Angolan charity, Aldeia das Artes, to provide essential practical scientific and English language training to young people in Angola”.