On Friday, January 15, 2021, the MS4SSA program hosted a Report Out event to review the progress across six African countries since the program began in 2016. This initiative uses a ‘Train the Trainer’ model for trainers and teachers in K-12 schools to advance STEM education at the middle and high school levels. The program aims to enhance learning outcomes in math and science using project-based learning, robotics, and materials science.
The event was attended by nearly 50 educators from 21 institutions across 11 different African countries. Many who attended were from Ministries of Education in the inaugural group of six countries where MS4SSA trainings have taken place, including the Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, and Rwanda. In addition, there was representation from educators in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe who are interested in learning more about this program.
The event was also attended by over a dozen faculty and staff from WPI including Prof. Rob Krueger who delivered a presentation on the ASSISTments online education tool. This learning platform uses an open adaptable architecture to provide questions and problem sets from local textbooks so students can do their homework electronically on a computer, tablet, smartphone, etc. It gives teachers immediate feedback on students’ progress, saving time and allowing teachers to address students’ specific needs in problem areas before they fall behind. ASSISTments has been implemented widely across the U.S. and the ASSISTments Foundation has recently received support to do more work overseas. It was recently implemented in Morocco and Ghana and there are plans to expand to other African countries across Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021. This makes it an idea tool for use in implementing the MS4SSA program modules.