Posts for the News Project

November 18th, 2013

Science House Foundation a Spotlight Member of the Global Campaign for Education

Science House Foundation is a spotlight member of the Global Coalition for Education.

Science House Foundation is honored to be listed in this month’s Coalition Member Spotlight at the Global Campaign for Education – US. GCE-US is a consortium of NGOs headquartered in the United States who are focused on transforming the global education paradigm. Science House Foundation is committed to making education accessible to all and pleased to be partners with this venerable global education organization.

GCE-US promotes access to education as a basic human right and mobilizes the public to create political will in the U.S. and internationally to improve education for the world’s poorest children. As a coalition, GCE also works to promote the importance of pre-school education, prevent abusive child labor, increase adult literacy rates, and eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.

Thank you, GCE-US!

November 11th, 2013

A new partnership with Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil

Mariana Tóffolo and Prof Silmara Sartoreto with their MicroGlobalScope kit.

Science House Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership in Brazil in collaboration with the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná.

You can read the original announcement in Portuguese on the UEL site here.

This past summer, Mariana Machado Tóffolo, a Biological Sciences Major who was awarded Brazil’s prestigious Scientific Mobility Program scholarship (Ciência sem Fronteiras in Portuguese), spent one year studying in the United States, and completed a three-month internship at Science House Foundation, under the coordination of Joshua Fouts, Executive Director of the Foundation.

When Mariana returned to Brazil, she began a research project in partnership with Science House Foundation under the coordination of Dr. Silmara Sartoreto de Oliveira, Professor of Biological Sciences at UEL, (Londrina State University). The research project aims to spark interest in children 10-14 years old in topics related to science, and from there encourage a new generation of future scientists. Professor Sartoreto’s research has focused primarily on pedagogy in the Biological Sciences.

The project being developed by Mariana and under the direction of Professor Silmara is linked to Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope program. Science House Foundation is headquartered in New York City with partners in 28 countries.

Through this partnership, UEL in Londrina, now represents a new pole in Brazil, putting the University on the map pursuing unique cultural collaboration, informal-science education research. The research will use a hands-on approach providing an environment where students can explore their own knowledge through an investigative educational framework. The children will study microscopic specimens of some organisms, which will be visualized and compared with the two types of microscopes that are included in the MicroGlobalScope program — an upright Celestron microscope and a hand-held MiScope, which has been used for forensics research, which were donated for research by Science House Foundation.

UEL and Science House Foundation plan to collaborate in developing a longitudinal survey and image data, with a focus on pedagogy and learning processes, beginning with discussions around the initial observations of the students. This project will also focus on the importance of core training of UEL students of Biological Sciences. They will be able to use the kits donated by Science House Foundation in their teaching internships, and thus experiment with new teaching approaches, techniques and methodologies.

October 24th, 2013

A New Partnership in Kazakhstan with the Al-Farabi-Carnegie Program on Central Asia

Students in Kazakhstan try out their new cyber classroom using new MicroGlobalScope equipment. A collaboration between the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Science House Foundation. Image credit: Diana Galperin

Science House Foundation and the Al-Farabi – Carnegie Program on Central Asia are pleased to announce a new education and cultural collaboration partnership creating synergies between the Carnegie Endowment’s work to find solutions to electricity and telecommunications shortages in remote areas in Kazakhstan with Science House Foundation’s worldwide informal science education program MicroGlobalScope.

The cooperation began when Al-Farabi – Carnegie’s Diana Galperin reached out to Science House Foundation suggesting there might be a way for the two programs to work together to create cultural connections around science education.

Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope program connects schools in over 25 countries via a combination of microscopy equipment grants and a unique digital platform in which students, teachers and scientists share and discuss their microscopy discoveries. Science House Foundation believes that two core survival skills needed for success in tomorrow’s workplace are an appreciation for science and a sensitivity for cultural collaboration. We work to create a culture of discovery and collaboration.

Al-Farabi – Carnegie’s SolarTech project has studied a sustainable development model for providing off-grid energy and internet access. Located in Chilik, Kazakhstan, about a two hour drive from the largest city in Kazakshtan, Almaty, the project has worked with a local school- the Tole Kenzhebaeva School to study this model.

A Trip to Almaty

The new MicroGlobalScope kit is unpacked. Image credit: Diana Galperin

Diana traveled to Almaty twice in the past six months, once in July and again in late August 2013 where she delivered and installed the MicroGlobalScope microscopy kit.

A diverse group of community members including local government officials, teachers. children, and women participating in business trainings came out to view the launch. The local elected official, a scientist himself by training, spoke about the community’s excitement for new resources to involve children in science.

The school director discusses her vision for how the microscopes will be used in the school.

Collaborative Science Futures

Al-Farabi Carnegie was supported by an initial seed grant, with plans to see an expansion in the creation of the solar-powered Interent labs in other parts of Central Asia.

We look forward to sharing updates of this unique collaboration with you as we launch in schools in these regions in coming months.

October 14th, 2013

News Stories from Malaysia

“Outside the USA we are increasingly building programs that span a broad range of education levels from early childhood through university.” – Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce, President Boeing Southeast Asia

Our hosts from STEM States, the Australia-based NGO that convened WORLDSTE2013 (at which we held the Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education Summit) have compiled a long list of the media coverage of our gathering in this downloadable PDF: STEMFest2013 Media Coverage.

You’ll find cover stories in the Sarawak Tribune about Skip Boyce, President of Boeing Southeast Asia and Dr. Tin Hlaing, Science Advisor for Aung San Suu Kyi, among many others.

We are thrilled with the great coverage we received and happy to share it with you here.

September 23rd, 2013

Complete Program for Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education Summit

We are pleased to share with you the complete program for our upcoming conference next week on Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education. You can download the complete PDF here.

Our conference will be part of a week’s worth of an international festival of conferences on science and arts education around the world working to make concrete impact in the STEM field. We’re incredibly proud and excited about the international gathering keynote speakers – leaders of industry, policy and academia — who will be joining us to share their insights, wisdom and ideas.

Science House Foundation would like to extend special thanks to our grant supporters who have provided critical financial support to make it possible for many of these amazing speakers to join us. Lead supporters include: The Sarawak Convention Bureau, The Richard Lounsbery Foundation and The Ford Foundation.

July 12th, 2013

What Rule of Law and Slum Entrepreneurs have to do with Science Education

A Letter from Geneva

 

The “Celestial Sphere” behind the Palais de Nations at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

By Joshua Sheridan Fouts

“Rule of Law is like Higgs boson,” said the Ambassador from Italy at the IDLO breakfast meeting at the UN in Geneva, “It gives mass matter.” This interesting turn of words, borrowing from science and yet addressing a very human rights-centric subject was an apt introduction to an engaging week I spent at the United Nations in Geneva.

I’ve just returned from Geneva, Switzerland where Science House Foundation participated in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High Level summit. Science House Foundation, had a booth — shown below — to describe our work to attendees of the accompanying Innovation Fair. In addition, I participated in several series of meetings with UN ministers, ambassadors, and leaders from organizations such as IDLO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and UN Habitat, a division of the United Nations that works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements.

 

The view of the Science House Foundation booth at the UN.

The weeklong discussions held around the high level meetings and policy issues being addressed by ECOSOC representatives from countries around the world were focused on “Science, technology and innovation (STI), and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs.”

The title alone made the gathering of great interest to Science House Foundation. But it was also an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities of science education with NGOs and governments who we might not normally connect with.

Below are some notes from some of my myriad interesting and productive discussions.

What the Rule of Law Has to Do with Science Education

The connection between the importance of countries adhering to Rule of Law as a fundamental tenet of human rights and the importance of science education may not be an intuitive or obvious one for most readers. But in my discussions with IDLO at a meeting they hosted, it became quite clear that a serious investment in education in a country can be dependent on a government that supports the Rule of Law.

Put another way, investment in the Rule of Law, as one speaker put it, is tantamount to democratizing access and democratizing competitiveness. For more on this, see UNESCO’s June 2013 must-read “Education for All Global Monitoring Report.”

A much more dramatic example of what the Rule of Law has to do with education can be seen in the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who today celebrated her 16th birthday at  the United Nations. Malala was shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls in Pakistan.

I look forward to continuing my discussions with the team at IDLO.

UN Habitat

The median age of a person living in the slums of the world is 18. Or, in other words, as Daniel Ragan of UN Habitat (officially the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) told the group, most people in slums are youth. Further, Ragan explained, most of these youth do not have families. These variables create significant challenges in the the work of UN Habitat, which works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Ragan spoke about a number of important projects in which they are trying to empower youth in slums to follow their entrepreneurial inclinations and develop businesses that will help them get out of the slums through modest financial grants from UN Habitat. Ragan noted that entrepreneurial projects of youth occur in spite of the allure of gangs, which often provide a much-needed sense of community to many of these kids.

One of the most riveting presentations at the breakfast was by  Dr. Joan Clos, the head of UN Habitat who spoke about the worldwide trends of increased urbanization of the planet and how most cities and countries are failing to adequately prepare for this. Dr. Clos described how nearly three billion or almost half of the total global population is under 25. The majority of these populations are living in cities and towns in the developing world where nearly 90% of the world’s urban growth is taking place.

“We therefore need to change the current model of urbanization to create more productive cities by focusing on more strategic issues including urban legislation, land tenure, urban planning and designing, urban economy and municipal finance to prepare the cities to be places that generate jobs for its ever increasing population … Youth issues should be at the center stage of this urban transformation.”

Dr. Clos went on to describe what cities in the world he felt are well-designed (Geneva, except its too expensive) and a fascinating discussion on the different successes and failures of democratic versus totalitarian approaches to urban design. Dr. Clos argued that urban planning is far easier to implement if you have a centralized government but that successful democratic urban planning models exist, such as New York City.

Science House Foundation works in several urban and slum communities. Thus the work of UN Habitat is particularly relevant and of interest to us.

Science Education and Intellectual Property

I had several other interesting conversations with members from the World Intellectual Property Organization, with whom I talked about science education as a catalyst for creativity. WIPO is particularly interested in cultivating creativity among youth and empowering them to think about ways they can monetize their creative works through a better understanding of intellectual property.

Science House Foundation and the United Nations

Science House Foundation is an avid supporter of the work of the United Nations these meetings served to further highlight the complementary roles of our work and the potential for collaborative projects yet to come.

 

June 27th, 2013

SHF an Invited Participant at the 2013 United Nations Innovation Fair

Science House Foundation is pleased to be an invited participant in the 2013 United Nations “Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture” fair organized by ECOSOC, the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

This year’s summit will feature topics ranging from Food and Water Security to the power of social media for innovation in education, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “The primary objective of the Fair is to showcase innovative practices, approaches and projects in science, technology, innovation and culture from around the world.”

Science House Foundation will be joining organizations such as Save the Children, L’Oréal, Nestlé and Qualcomm in meeting and presenting ideas to UN Ministers and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

We look forward to reporting back to you about the gathering.

June 24th, 2013

SHF Joins the US Global Campaign for Education

Science House Foundation is pleased to be a new invited member of the US Global Campaign for Education. (The US Global Campaign for Education, = is part of the broader international organization, the Global Campaign for Education, headquartered in South Africa.)

We believe the objectives of the US GCE are complementary to the work and focus of Science House Foundation and we are happy to share them with you below.

Current Objectives of the U.S. Chapter of the Global Campaign for Education:

  • Making Education a Global Development Priority: The Obama Administration’s Global Development Strategy does not include education as a development priority. Achieving universal basic education is the key to success across all development sectors, and GCE-US is calling on the President to make education a global development priority.
  • Supporting the Education for All Act: The Education for All Act is a mechanism to increase access to schooling in poor countries and to improve the quality of education offered. The act calls on the US to support a multilateral education initiative like the Global Partnership for Education that is committed with realizing these important goals.
  • Securing U.S. Participation in a Multilateral Education Initiative: Currently, the U.S. funds global basic education efforts almost exclusively on a bilateral basis through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Coordinating aid through a multilateral education initiative like the Global Partnership for Education is smart aid, and results in more support for children, schools, and teachers in developing countries and better oversight of how funds are used. GCE-US urges the US Government to increase funding to the Global Partnership for Education.
  • Removing Barriers for Girls Secondary Education: Despite the fact that gains for investing in the education of women and girls grow with each year of school completed, girls continue to make up more than half of the out-of school children worldwide. At the secondary level, girls face barriers related to health and sanitation, causing many of them to drop out after enrolling. GCE-US advances policy that removes these barriers to secondary education for girls and allows them to achieve their full potential.
  • June 15th, 2013

    New Program for our Conference on Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education

    We’ve just published the latest program of speakers, panels and events at our upcoming October 3 & 4 conference on Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education. Our conference dovetails with the WORLDSTE2013 conference with a specific focus on how to approach science, technology and arts education from a transnational collaborative perspective.

    We’ll be releasing more news in coming weeks. Until then, you can download the program here.

    And don’t forget to register. We look forward to seeing you in October.

    June 11th, 2013

    MicroGlobalScope Welcomes Cambodia’s CIA FIRST International School to the Community

    Joyce Ira Yarza of Cambodia’s CIA FIRST International School with Mai Le of Everest Education as Joyce picks up her MicroGlobalScope kit.

    A few weeks ago, Science House Foundation supporter Suzanne Cruse invited Executive Director Joshua Fouts to meet social entrepreneur Tony Ngo, co-founder of Everest Education an education NGO in Vietnam which is focuses on improving the education opportunities of K-12 students in Vietnam. Tony is a passionate leader who has launched several other non-profits.

    We agreed to partner with Tony to bring Everest Education into MicroGlobalScope family of schools. It turned out that Tony was leaving for Vietnam in a few days. He offered to deliver the MicroGlobalScope equipment to Vietnam personally. (More on that in a later post.)

    Joshua asked him if he had any extra space in his suitcase for one more MicroGlobalScope kit. It turns out he did.

    Last December Science House Foundation awarded a MicroGlobalScope kit to Cambodia’s CIA FIRST International School in Phnom Penh. However, due to import restrictions, we were unable to deliver the equipment. Tony offered to deliver the microscopes to Ho Chi Minh City if we could arrange to have them picked up.

    Joyce Ira Yarza a science teacher at the CIA FIRST International School, who had been patiently awaiting her MicrGlobalScope kit for the past six months agreed to make the drive to Vietnam.

    Joyce sent us the below dispatch from her journey, including a special message from her students. (Thanks to Science House Foundation supporter Alex Le Fontaine for introducing us to Joyce.)

    Arrival at the Everest Education building in Ho Chi Minh City.

    My trip to Ho Chi Minh City took roughly 7 hours by bus and though it may sound tiring and boring, I’d say it was all worth it because Mai and Don of Everest Education were so hospitable and accommodating. I also met Hieu Le who is one of their teachers in the school. All three of them amazed me with their passion and dedication to give their students quality education which is the same vision we have at CIA FIRST. It’s truly an honor to meet and be acquainted with new people whom we can collaborate with in terms of making education, especially making science better for our students. All of us were able to discuss our plans for the project and promised to keep in touch for updates and future activities.

    When I arrived back here in Cambodia, I took a chance to play with the equipment and they’re all awesome. I personally loved the MiScope because it’s handy and very easy to use. When I showed it to my students, all of them wanted to extend our science class and discover more things under it. However, since our exams are due next week, we have postponed our activity till the last week of the month, just before we go on our vacation. I also took the opportunity to teach a couple more of science teachers at school to familiarize themselves with the new microscopes. With these equipment, I am sure that science will be so much exciting for the next school year. FYI, we’re going to have a dedicated club for this project,, so we’ll keep you in touch with our activities through our blog posts.

    Mai Le and Don Le of Everest Education in Vietnam with their microscopes.