International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Hands-on, Hearts-on and Minds-on: Chemistry Teaching-Learning Using Low-Cost Apparatus and Chemicals

Activity by Temechegn Engida   |   added on Jan 01, 2012   |   Ethiopia Official_iyc_logo

Sponsor(s): Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC), Pan African Chemistry Network

This workshop for teachers demonstrates an awareness of using low cost appropriate teaching-learning materials for chemistry and shows the efficiency, cost and appropriateness of low cost materials from locally available materials.


Training Objectives:

On Completion of this training, participants were able to:

• Demonstrate an awareness of using low cost appropriate teaching-learning materials for chemistry; 

• Develop thinking skills on improvisation strategies using 'plastic bottles';

• Apply design knowledge and basic workshop skills in the making of instructional media or models;

• Appreciate the efficiency, cost and appropriateness of low cost materials from locally available materials.



The Vice Director of the Lideta Catholic School welcomed the participants and officially opened the 3-day training on December 7, 2011 at the Lideta Catholic Cathedral School.



Introduction and hands on demonstration

After the facilitators introduced themselves, the participants were asked to introduce themselves mentioning their name, school, college or regional education Bureau (REB) they came from. Then the briefing session continues.

During the first session a brief introduction were given about (1) the objectives of the training; (2) the status of practical activities in Ethiopia, and (3) the conceptual frameworks during the preparation of the low cost apparatus and chemicals, that is to make chemistry learning active a constructive process, and contextual to the day-to-day life of students.

The facilitators demonstrated two options of low cost of a separatory funnel (one macro and the other micro) as a prototype to inspire participants to design their own apparatus in the next session.

In addition, two facilitators from UK and one from Uganda provided training on Microscale Chemistry.


Working on groups

The participants of the training first divided in to 10 groups; 3 participants in each group. To each group cutter and plastic bottles were delivered. The group activity was:

• Design or sketch in your group for the following apparatus or setup from locally available materials (emphasis –plastic bottles);

Common Apparatus: Distillation Flask, Stand, Extension clamp, Condenser, Receiver, Burner, Tripod, Thermometer, Test tube, Test tube holder, Test tube rack, Petri-dish, Pinch, Gas jar, Washing bottle, Models, Burette, etc

Common setups: Filtration, Separatory funnel, Distillation, Gas preparation, Heating apparatus, Titration, Displacement of O2 , Electrolysis, etc

Chemicals: Acids, Bases, Salts, MnO2, H2O2, etc


Presentation by each group

Representative of each group presented their low cost apparatus and chemicals. The presentation was really fascinating and enjoyable.


Presentation by the Facilitators

The facilitators presented their low cost apparatus and chemicals emphasizing on cost comparison and efficiency for each and every aforementioned apparatus and chemicals.


Certificate of Attendance

The participants were given a certificate of attendance by FASC, finally representative of the President of the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC), Mrs. Beteleheim, gave a closing speech and the training was officially closed.

Topic: low cost materials Audience: teachers
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Dec 07 - Dec 09, 2011 Hands-on, Hearts-on and Minds-on