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Science Lab Project For Nilore School
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:01 pm    Post subject: Science Lab project for Nilore School Reply with quote

Hey!

Hope you are all doing well. We received a proposal for a science lab at Nilore School. This is our first recurring project, since the computer lab at Nilore was ADP's first project.

Nilore has come a long way since ADP's first involvement with the project. They now have a new purpose built campus and have expanded to grade 8 (http://www.ibtida.org/NiloreSchoolBuilding2005.html). The science lab will help Nilore attain AKU board affiliation (http://www.aku.edu/akueb/provaff.shtml) and ultimately prepare for expansion to the matric level.

Please take a look at the attached proposal. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions, so we can get back to Ibtida soon.

In particular, we are concerned about the following so far:
1) Sustainability (of the lab and teacher's salary).
2)Measuring the impact of the science lab.
3) Time-frame of implementation.

Thank you!


Last edited by Mubarik Imam on Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the detailed equipment list for the lab.
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Khurram Jamali



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Last Visit: 10 Oct 2011
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Location: Beijing, China
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is any chapter considering evaluating this proposal?
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
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Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Boston. I am just about to put up the project for vote.
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Tarim Wasim



Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mubarik,

Has the Boston chapter discussed this project? It might be better for the broader group to discuss this if we're moving to a consolidated model.

Khurram, do we know how much we have in the ADP non-EQ fund at this point? There are at least 3 projects we need to decide on and knowing the total balance (and recurring cash flows) is important.

Thanks,
Tarim
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Usman Khan



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Last Visit: 30 May 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mubarak,

Project seems reasonable. Do you know where they stand with the teacher training or if they already have anyone in mind for the lab instructors ? How fast will they be able to order the equipment and have it set up ? Given that its the middle of November already, it seems doubtful they'll have everything setup by Jan 2007 by the time the AKU affiliation team pays the Nilore school a visit. We can still help them setup the lab, which will eventually (whether this Jan or not) help them acquire the affiliation. I think pts 1 and 3 u mentioned are very critical for the successful implementation of the project.

On a side note, the equipment list is not very clear in the sense that there is no indication of the quantity of the items they would like to purchase. Perhaps I am missing something or it may be in a separate budget file. Hope this helps.

Usman
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:00 pm    Post subject: follow-up q&a with Nuzhat Reply with quote

Hi,

Thank you for your questions Usman. I am including the replies to those below. Tarim also had some additional questions whose replies are included. Please let me know if you have any other questions. We'll be putting up the project for vote shortly.


Do you know where they stand with the teacher training or if they already have anyone in mind for the lab instructors ?
They hired a science teacher from another private school who has already started teaching. According to Nuzhat, he is willing to learn, is very organized, a good administrator and has taught at other schools. He will be the science subject teacher for the entire school. Nilore is presently identifying a teacher trainer who will provide additional (experimental) training to the science teacher and help him set up the lab in December. Possible trainers include teachers from Khuldoonia school, students from Quaid-e-Azam university.


Given that its the middle of November already, will it be possible to have everything setup by Jan 2007 by the time the AKU affiliation team pays the Nilore school a visit? How fast will they be able to order the equipment and have it set up?
They hope to purchase the equipment and have it set up by Jan 30th. The school visit by an AKU affiliate will take place in April. Nilore has already purchased furniture.
My main concern is that Nuzhat isnít sure whether they will be able to dedicate an entire room to the science lab yet or not (due to space constraints).

Can we get quantities in addition to amounts for the list that you sent?
Please see attached file. Nuzhat asked for help in coming up with the quantities. Based on previous experience in setting up labs and the number of students using the lab I have outlined the quantities in the spreadsheet. These quantities are still pending approval from Nuzhat.

Is Ibtida funding the computer teacher salary that we had funded for the first year today (as a measure of whether they'll keep funding the science teacher)?
Ibtida has continued to fund the computer teacherís salary. The computer teacher has the second highest salary in the school (after the science teacher). In fact, the computer teacher has an offer from another private school and might be leaving (after training other teachers).

What is the science curriculum? Which grades will use it? Is lab usage part of their syllabus?
The current science curriculum is based on the federal board. Currently grades 5th,6th,7th will use the lab. By 2010 the school will have students enrolled in Class 10 enrollment. Once the school gets AKU Board affiliation they will also have concept based learning modules in addition to the board curriculum for each class. The idea is that early exposure to experiments and a scientific way of thought will help students in grades 5th,6th,7th and 8th. As the classes progress they will become more comfortable with increasing complexity of experiments in grade 9th and 10th.

Is it possible for Ibtida to fund the teacher's salary for the first year (and have ADP fund the equipment)?
In a worst case scenario they would be able to fund a teacher. The funding would be taken out of next yearís budget. Having a science teacher is critical to the success of the lab. Personally, Iíd argue that it is the most important component. So ideally we wouldnít want to put the school in a position where they have to decide who to fund.
The teacherís salary is 6700/month+1300/month (for additional services such as labs).

Additional details about Nilore school (projects for the future):
Library: Nilore is excited about Alif Lailaís model and the books they have developed. Hopefully, we can help the two organizations collaborate.
Interactive Theatre Workshop: The Interactive Theatre group will be visiting the school in January to do a workshop about issues students face, backgrounds etc. The school is hopeful to host their own theatrical events annually.
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Justin Stone



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 145
Location: Cambridge, MA USA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mubarik,

Great work in getting all of this together, and especially in proposing the quantities for Nuzhat. I'm sure that adds a lot of value for them...

Are you close to putting this project up for a vote? I don't see any big outstanding questions, and no objections.

I agree that ADP should fund the teacher's salary for the first year, as we did with the computer lab. I am curious to know if Nuzhat has finalized the quantities list.

I am strongly in favor of this project because:

-It supports the ADP mission of holistic development by further strengthening an existing and proven effort (our 1st project)
-It creates direct value for the school and students
-It creates significant indirect value in the likely AKU certification
-Teaching methodology will be progressive
-Ibtdida has demonstrated effective follow-through and impressive progress following our initial funding
-Impact will be measurable with time

Let us know if there are other issues to resolve before we put this to a vote...

Best,

Justin
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: update Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your feedback Justin. I agree with all the reasons that you identified for funding the project. We are very close to putting up the project for vote.

Current outstanding issues include helping the school to figure out a budget for the lab. Nuzhat Ahmad provided the items and prices for the equipment. Based on prior projects I supplied the quantity of equipment (it was finalized by a teacher trainer who has taught high school for over 10 years). As you will notice there is a difference between the amount requested ($3500 for 20 students) and what we think that the school needs (~$2600) . However, there are always unforeseen circumstances for expenditure (sinks, furniture etc), so we are trying to agree to an amount before putting up the project for vote. Nuzhat and I are discussing this issue and hopefully we can come to a solution we all agree on. Input from others would be very valuable

Some updates on the science lab:
- the room is 12 x 10 feet
- they have bought one large table so far which is lying in the center of the room (donít know if it is sufficient for 20 kids)
- there is currently no sink (they'll definitely need one for chemistry experiments)
- contrary to what Nuzhat had said before there is no gas connection in the entire village. The heaters I had seen were stand alone heaters running off cylinders. They will think of some "out-of-the-box" solution for this.
- Nilore has started talking to the AKUEB people. They have sent them the syllabus etc. They are planning the first informational visit soon.

Futhermore, the school also needs help training their teachers on how to use the equipment. I'll try and visit the school when I am in Pakistan or find someone who can visit for a day and help them out.

I am also going to discuss with Nuzhat the possibility of having the lab open to other schools to access after hours (increasing the impact of our investment).

Please let me know your thoughts on the equipment expenditure.

Thanks,
Mubarik
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Updates on Nilore Project Reply with quote

ADPers,

Just thought I'd consolidate all the updates for Nilore.

Project Details
- Nilore is waiting to hear from AKU. AKU is supposed to send Nilore a letter detailing what they need to improve prior to affiliation.
- School registration is in process. Deadline April 15th.
- Teachers are being interviewed for senior classes
- Junior classes are going to be taught by the current teachers.
- Ibtida was actively in search for someone to train their teachers in experiments.Waqas Mansoor, has kindly volunteered and has extensive experience in science practicals. He will also help the school in the procurement of the equipment. Waqas is an Electrical Engineer, while in high school he was selected for Pakistan's National Physics Talent Competition.
- Major equipment for lab will be bought in the summer.
- Minor equipment bought. (Thank you to Rumi Chunara for helping consolidate the equipment lists).
- Intel is doing teacher training for using computers as a teaching tool in August.


Fundraising

-$780 were raised through the webpage. A big thank you to Tarim and Natalia for putting the Nilore webpage together.
-The first check will be mailed to Ibtidia for $1500.
-Donations are still being accepted to help raise $1400 for the second phase of the funding due July 2006.

Continuing Volunteer Opportunities
- Help run a science camp at Nilore
- Identify experiments that can be done to promote science education
- Do a site-visit to examine the impact of the science and computer labs at Nilore

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:41 am    Post subject: Excerpts from Nuzhat's e-mail to Waqas Reply with quote

FYI for those who are interested in learning more about the project:


"Here is the current scenario. The school is following a Govt curriculum. As is common in Govt schools, the kids are encouraged to learn concepts by rote. There is absolutely no concept of conceptual thinking. In addition, kids are exposed to practicals only in 9th and 10th (if at all). What we want to do is expose these kids to practical science from class 5th onwards. I have explained this to the teachers, and they are willining to learn, but are unable to take that important step of breaking the mental barrier without help. THey are very willing to learn though (it is very heartening). So, in essence we will need to train the teachers for the younger classes as well. I have gone through the curriculum in detail, and I am attaching the basic concepts they are supposed to know. We have to work through these experiments with the teachers so that they become adept at teaching them.
- The major equipment that we have obtained quotes for is basically for class 9th and 10th. We were planning on getting the major equipment in the summer, but can get it earlier if you want.
- We can identify 2-3 teachers and train them in a spectrum of experiments. Frankly, Waqas, whatever you help us with will be a tremendous help. I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with the teachers and kids enthusiasm.
- Let me know what kind of a time commitment or workshop you are looking to do.
- The school is 25 km outside Islamabad, on Lehtrar Road, 5 minutes from Pinstech. When I am in Islamabad, I go there everymorning, and come back in the afternoon. It takes me 30- 35 minutes each way.
- I will call you. What is the best time for you?
Thanks so much
Nuzhat"
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:12 am    Post subject: Site visit update from Waqas Reply with quote

Waqas has been trying to get access to the forums but has been unable to submit posts. I'm pasting his e-mail below.

Teacher: Mr. Siddique (MSc in Geology) will be teaching Physics. Nilore doesn't have a dedicated science teacher yet.

Equipment: based on my conversation with Waqas it seems that the school is going to buy the equipment in August. Will confirm this with Nuzhat and check the status on the AKU affiliation.

Infrastructure: currently the school is thinking of adding an additional level as they are constrained for space.


Hello Mubarik,

I went to the School and met Nuzhat there.

Now for class 9th, there are 2 options for science.

1. Physics, Chemistry, Biology
2. Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science


Personally I would recommend, that we should give option to each student about his/her choice of subjects and run two parallel groups.

To run the science labs effectively, we need to focus on subject specialist teachers for all the science subjects, who can teach both theory and practicals easily. Also , I would strongly recommend to upgrade the medium of instruction to English language for class 9th. All the science subjects should be in English. This will not be easy. But it is necessary.

For class 9th and 10th, there is a list of practicals, recommended by each board.
I dont know about Agha Khan board, but that list is really very simple. From board examination point of view, practicals carry minor weightage and the whole system is full of flaws. (Total 75 marks for 3 practicals, and u will get between 50 and 60, irrespective of the quality of practicals you have done and your preparation etc).


Now there is a problem of space as the lab room is really quite small.

If the wooden partition between the computer lab and the science lab is removed, w can create some space. A group doing Bio practical and another group doing Comp practical.

Mubarik, give me an idea for some activity.

Like a game to find any country on world map in 1 minute?? Good for increasing general awareness and inculcating map reading skills.

Anyways, will share the progress with you,

Regards,
Waqas
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Waqas Mansoor



Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Last Visit: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Islamabad
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current scenario:
School is going through Exam Season.

The annual exam will end on 28th May.

From 4th June onwards, the Summer Camps will start.

We plan to procure the Lab equipment, and set up the lab during the Summer Camps.

I ll help the school in procuring, setting up and hiring of science teacher.
Plus I plan to use the lab for carrying out science activities.

I need your suggestions, for the activities.
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Mubarik Imam



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 82
Location: San Francisco, CA
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Waqas! Are you interested in doing stimulating activities like for the summer camp or typical practicals? Here are some suggestions:

. Model Rockets
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Physics/8-01Physics-IFall1999/VideoLectures/detail/Video-Segment-Index-for-L-19.htm
. Cow Eye Dissection http://www.exploratorium.edu/learning_studio/cow_eye/index.html
. Hot-Air Balloon demonstrations (for younger kids)
. Separating Mixtures
. Growing Crystals

Here's a list of other science experiments: http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/

Another great resource for teaching fun experiments is:
www.instructables.com
I particulary enjoyed Soda Bottle Rockets and Bending Light.

http://www.instructables.com/id/EVPD45G2N6EP2866HG/

Let me know if you need links to more traditional experiments.

Best,
Mubarik
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Waqas Mansoor



Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Last Visit: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7
Location: Islamabad
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: PHYSICS LECTURE AT SCHOOL Reply with quote

Thanks Mubarik for all these ideas.
Actually I went to school today and conducted a lecture on Physics. The audience was class 8th students and Maths teacher, Miss Irum. Siddique was the principal and he was also at the lecture. The purpose was to give very basic concepts to the students and create an interest among the students. The lecture was given on the white board with the aid of presentation. The presentation is attached.
I really enjoyed the whole session.

About Lab:
The school could not get approval from either Agha Khan or Federal Board. So students will sit in mwtric exams as private candidates. For this they have to get affiliated with some government school for lab practicals. The condition of govt schools is that, on paper they all have science labs. But actually students are never taken to the lab as the condition of most of the labs is very poor. But they all get good marks in practical exams because practical examiner is also from Govt Schools.

But we dont want this for Nilore school. We shall establish a lab and all the students will do all the practicals. As far as Practical exams are concerned, the pricipal of local Govt School is friend of Siddique. So he will make sure that all the neccessary paper work is done.

They haven't hired any science teacher yet. Good science teachers are very rare in that area and teachers from Islamabad won't go there because of distance and travelling involved.

I am in contact with Siddique and we are finalising the list of equipment.

So
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