OpenSTEM Africa

Principal Investigator: Dr Jane Cullen

Co-investigators: Dr Eric Addae-Kyeremeh, Dr Kerry Murphy, Sarah Davies, Maria Velasco, Nana Gyamfi Adwabour, Laud Freeman

Funders: Opito

Partners: Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS), from the Ministry of Education, Ghana

Focus Country: Ghana 

Dates: August 2018 - ongoing

Status: Current

Co-developing technology-based practical science teaching and learning

Government policies aim to improve opportunities for all young people, especially girls, to study science subjects and take up STEM-related careers. The challenge is for ways to address the need for more laboratories, equipment and materials to support teachers and schools to affect this and enable learners to engage with practical science.

OpenSTEM Africa: Ghana supports the effective teaching and learning of practical science in Senior High Schools in Ghana by:

  • creating a Virtual Lab of practical science applications, which provides more opportunities for learners to engage with practical science;
  • professional development for teachers to develop effective ICT-based teaching and learning approaches;
  • professional support for heads of science to help improve the experiential teaching and learning of the practical science syllabus.

Open, on-screen, online

Drawing on the OU’s pioneering OpenScience Laboratory technology, the OpenSTEM Africa Virtual Laboratory provides a set of curriculum-relevant, on-screen, practical science applications for multiple use in multiple experiments in multiple lessons. Each is based on real science data and produces real scientific outputs which can be analysed and used to develop students’ and teachers’ practical science skills.

Progress, achievements, and impact

Working with the Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS), from the Ministry of Education, Ghana, and the University of Ghana, 12 key practical science applications have been co-developed to provide up to 100 interactive online virtual experiments mapped to the Ghanaian curriculum. 

CENDLOS and the University of Ghana, have both launched the Virtual Laboratory on their own platforms, making this available to 1.3 million SHS students in 722 Senior High and Technical and Vocational Schools via the Government’s iCampusGH and to 44,000 students via the University of Ghana’s Vlab platform.

ICT has the potential to accelerate, enrich and deepen learning and the acquisition of skills.  Students should be motivated and engaged in classroom activities that will make them participate fully.

a Senior High School Chemistry Teacher in Ghana

Centre for the Study of Global Development

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