Friday, August 16, 2013

98. Local Science Fair

From the Peace Corps Mozambique website:

"Currently in its 12th year, the Science Fair and HIV/AIDS Prevention Fair is a Peace Corps project that promotes extra-curricular exploration of the sciences for secondary school students.

Across all of Mozambique, Peace Corps Volunteers work to conduct over 130 fairs at the district, provincial, and national level. The goal of these fairs is to provide an opportunity for experiential learning to promote scientific inquiry and a creative presentation of scientific findings.  The fairs serve as forums for HIV/AIDS education by requiring participating students to respond to questions about HIV and AIDS as a part of the adjudication process of their projects."

In the town of Zobue, the local science fair took place on Friday, July 19 at the Zobue Secondary School.   The competition featured four hand-selected tenth-grade students as they presented their experiments to a small audience of peers and a jury of science teachers.  Each participant gave a ten-minute speech and a demonstration of their project, followed by a question-and-answer session led by members of the jury.  

Two of the four participants were eventually chosen as the winners of the local competition, and were asked to represent their school at the Tete Provincial Science Fair.  Their prize (to be realized tomorrow) is a trip to Tete City, a chance to win more bigger and better prizes, and the opportunity to win a coveted space at this year's national competition in Quelimane, Mozambique.  

This local science fair, though a comparatively small and quiet event, was the first step in a series of much larger competitions, both of which Dan will be directing in the next thirty days. The first, the Tete Provincial Science Fair, will be realized this Saturday, in the city of Tete.  The second, the Mozambican National Science Fair, will be held on Saturday, September 14, in the city of Quelimane.  

From the Zobue Local Science Fair:  Inacio presents--
"Using a Crank System to Simplify the Process of Drawing Water"
From the Zobue Local Science Fair:  Thocozane presents--
"A Homemade Fire Extinguisher Using Vinegar and Baking Soda"

Dan and I are currently in the city of Tete, making sure that everything is prepared for the first of these two competitions.  We have 21 students competing in tomorrow's Tete Provincial Science Fair, representing 12 different schools within the province.  

Dan's preparations for the provincial fair have been stressful and work-intensive, but we're now looking forward to the advent of the competition itself.  We're excited to see all of the presentations, to award prizes to the winners, and  to support the two provincial champions that will be moving on to nationals!

Congratulations to the winners from the Zobue local cycle, and best of luck to all competitors!

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