© 2019 Centre for Science & Technology Innovations

We link scientific innovation to the benefit of every day people: climate adaptation, biochemistry, biotechnology

Science in Schools: 

Knowledge creation, absorption, dissemination and management are at the core of CSTI's operational strategy.  Early intervention and exposure to meaningful experiences bolster understanding, even for those who will not dedicate their lives and careers to science. 

 

Understanding core principles of scientific reasoning is as essential as basic literacy and grammar.  

 

Without a core understanding of scientific reasoning, it is difficult to understand the complex interrelationships between human activity and environmental conditions.  The philosophy of science is as important as the research techniques.  CSTI provides support to primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions by offering supplemental materials and applied research projects that enhance student's understanding of how textbook theory is applied in every day life.  

Value is measured by the ability to use classroom knowledge to effectively solve real world problems.  

Understanding Relevance and Significance

Science and Technology Innovation include the arts and sports.  After all, creating a new paint color is as much a process of imagination as it is chemical mixtures and mathematical formulas.  Improving sports performance while maintaining safety requires knowledge of biology and physiology.  Literature is a neurological output we call communication.  Geography involves mathematical triangulation.  History is a chronology we measure with tools such as calendars and clocks which are based on mathematical formulae.  Creativity is a prerequisite for innovation.  In this manner, all subjects are an integrated part of human understanding and adaptive capabilities.  

The infographic from Kenya's Daily Nation explains the relevance of science to Africa's economic growth.  In simple terms, economies are based on production of goods and services.  Production of goods and services requires skilled capabilities.  Science and technology education enables localised production capabilities.  

As an example: a mobile phone user knows how to make a call and find desired features.  A mobile phone producer knows which metals and materials need to be sourced and how they need to be assembled for the phone to work properly at an affordable price.

Experience can be viewed as an accumulated repetition of tasks.  The first time one drives a car one is likely to experience great emotional and physical fatigue.  After 30yrs of driving one does not even remember all the individual decisions one makes to ensure safe driving.  

Similarly, initial exposure to science and technology education can be challenging for some.  However, repeated exposure in fun settings that link concepts to existing challenges will build capabilities to the point that the adult no longer is challenged by the steps that were difficult as a learner.

Reducing negative impacts on the environment and society requires careful planning of systems and communities.  Planning requires an understanding of interconnected systems and resource availability.  Informed citizens make better decisions and better decisions lead to healthy communities and economies.  Resilience and the ability to adapt are the key to being the fittest for an environment, including fitness to survive natural disasters.

Choosing earth friendly materials such as unfired clay with improved building designs reduce energy consumption and green house gas (GHG) emissions.  Vernacular architecture (aka Earth building) techniques bridge tradition with modern development in a way that builds community.

In modern history, scientific experimentation was limited to expensive research laboratories with large equipment.  Recently, just like the smart phone can serve as a portable minicomputer, the invention of microscience kits has facilitated mobile and affordable scientific research.

The picture below showcases two research kits (microphysics on the left, microchemistry on the right).  The laptop is shown to provide a sense of scale.  These are laboratories smaller than a laptop!  The pink wall is to remind girls science and technology are their playtoys too.  The manuals on the right are CSTI manuals for students and teachers that have been adapted to the KICD curriculum requirements.  Microscience goes beyond portable analysis convenience.  Microscience kits are low in cost and deliver significant savings by reducing the amount of water, chemicals and energy used to conduct experiments.  Sustainable research practices are now easy access.

Microscience Kits for Community Learning and Citizen Science

CSTI enjoys a long standing relationship with the the RADMASTE Centre at Wits University in South Africa.  In addition to supplying us with microscience kits, we share a collaborative research focus.

"Hands-on practical science activities are an essential part of learning science and the use of microscale equipment helps make this possible even for poorly-resourced schools and teacher training programs. RADMASTE (located in Johannesburg at Wits University) has shared this vision with CSTI for many years and although we are located thousands of kilometers apart we share many of the same environmental realities of this continent. This has made it easy to cooperate from time to time and we continue to look for further opportunities to do so."

Prof. John Bradley 

Honorary Professor - Wits University

Co-Creator of the UNESCO-IUPAC Microscience System

To obtain microscience kits in Kenya, contact us at info@csti.or.ke 

Solving environmental challenges requires the collaboration of a global village.  Air pollution easily crosses borders without a passport or a visa.  Contaminated waters run through many communities and reach the shared pool we call ocean.  Birds and insects have always been globe trotting earth citizens. 

 

Citizen Science is a global initiative launched by NASA (the space people in the US) to share environmental information (see the kits will be useful after school training is over).  3D printing is very exciting but have you ever thought about making your own 3D printed weather station so you can improve agricultural yields on your farm?

In case you are wondering what type of learning outcomes can be linked to CSTI's thematic research focus, here are some ideas:

  • Biomaterials: how to make synthetics that mimic nature

  • Green Chemistry: how to make benign chemicals

  • ICT for Development: tools, platforms and apps to reduce negative human impact

  • Permaculture: ecology simplified into usable community knowledge

  • Genomics: affordable R&D tools for bio-based products

  • Community Health: principles of sustainable lifestyles

  • Food Security: how to maximize organic food production in all locations

  • Renewable Energy: how to use agriwaste for charcoal instead of wood

We very much look forward to hearing about your discoveries! 

micro-chemistry kit demos:

For a suggestion on how to use the micro-chemistry kit for Climate Action, see our blog post on environmental monitoring 

https://www.csti.or.ke/single-post/2018/08/21/Kenya-Sustainable-Cities-Monitoring-for-Toxins 

Please allow 3 weeks for delivery of kits - we order on demand and do not stock.

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