This summer, Little Shop of Physics hosted visitors from Namibia to improve science and education for students in both countries.
During the course of several workshops, the Namibian educators and Little Shop developed programs for students and teachers that included simple, hands-on science kits.
“We decided to bring in people from the educational establishment in Namibia, to have them get a taste of what we do, to work with us on developing and refining the curriculum that is shared with teachers across the country,” said Brian Jones, director of Little Shop of Physics and an instructor in the Department of Physics.
The visit followed a trip Little Shop of Physics made to Namibia in 2016.
Meet the visitors
Three visitors made the journey to CSU. Eva Asheela from the Ministry of Education helped develop curricula and collaborated with Little Shop to find low-cost, locally produced materials for the content and activities in the program.
Another visitor, Erika Maass from the University of Namibia, works in teacher preparation and licensing. She collaborated with CSU staff to develop standards for labs and exercises appropriate for teacher preparation classes.
Ignasius Awaseb from B2Gold, a precious metals exploration company that funds the partnership, developed educational materials and hands-on displays for the B2Gold Education Center. The center is located near B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine, north of the country’s capital city.
“While working with the visitors, we learned a bunch of new tricks, and we came away impressed by their level of professionalism, their knowledge, and their devotion,” Jones said.
Sherri Lytle, CSU alumna and head of B2Gold’s corporate social responsibility team arranged Little Shop of Physics’ interactions with Namibia. Living most of the year in Namibia and the rest in Fort Collins, Lytle helped to bring the teams together and joined in the activities as well.
Plans for the future
Little Shop of Physics plans to partner with Namibian educators again. Since their previous visit to the B2Gold Education Center, they plan to go back and conduct more workshops, while learning from their new international counterparts.
Said Jones: “This was a continuation of the work; it built on what we had done, and laid the groundwork for further cooperation.”