In June, Sunsar Maya received an email from the Innovation in Education Fair (IEF) team inviting us to participate in the 2018 edition of the fair. The idea behind the fair was unique and it helped us reach out to a wider community. We were very excited to be a part of the fair.
We have been working in the education sector for the past three years and have been advocating as well as practicing project based hands on learning through after school programs. Being a part of the fair was a great platform for us to share our work and reach out to more educators from all around the country.
This was the first time we took part in any sort of fair or external programs and it was a really good experience for us. It was good in terms of the exposure we got, what we learnt, and the connections we made with probable collaborators in the future. The fair helped us reach many schools, educators, teachers, and school leaders through our workshop, which otherwise would have taken lots of resources and time. We have always been trying to share our work with schools that are still practicing old fashioned teaching based on rote learning. This platform was a great opportunity for us to inspire educators in project based and hands on learning approaches in the classrooms.
For the fair, we collaborated with Wildlife Conservation Nepal (WCN) to deliver a workshop on ‘Hands on approaches in our classrooms: Inspiration for STEAM’. It was a very good experience working with them as they have also been directly working with school kids for a while now. It was a great workshop to lead.The members of WCN focused on theoretical aspects of learning in classrooms and we, the team from Sunsar Maya, focused on hands on activities to practically teach theoretical knowledge such as Newton’s Third Law of Motion among others. It was a really good experience running a STEAM based workshop for educators from different schools.
Most of the participants in our workshop were science teachers and most of the activities we designed for the workshop were new to them. The workshop was full of excitement. Everyone fully engaged and tried their best to complete their projects, and they seemed to enjoy working in groups. The educators who participated in the workshop made their own versions of DIY paddle boats, fan powered cars, fan powered aeroplanes, balloon powered cars and baking soda and vinegar powered rockets with full enthusiasm. As a facilitator, it was a pleasant sight to see all the educators enjoy learning and making during the workshop. As an organization, it was good to see the workshop being effective and teachers enjoying the sessions as well as finding it relatable to their classrooms.
The overall experience of the fair was very good for us as it has helped us spread the work we have been doing to a broader community of educators. The organizers of the fair have been very good. The fair was designed in such a way that we had to take the lead for our own workshops and decide how we were going to interact and connect with the teachers and participants of the fair. It was a very good feeling and we were really happy to be associated with the fair. We hope to continue to be part of this awesome venture in the coming years and share our ideas with an even broader community of educators from around the country.
Written by Bikash Deshar. Bikash is a Country Lead/Program Manager at Sunsar Maya. He oversees various programs at Sunsar Maya including after school program, women literacy class and rural teachers training program.