Rotary E Steam International Project

Chair: Frank Van den Broek

The Rotary E-SSTEAM Project is a collaboration between the Rotary clubs of Mtunzini, South Africa and Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary in Canada. This is an International Project, spanning 3 years, with support from partner Rotary clubs in British Columbia, Alberta and South Africa, the Government of Canada, Rotary Districts in Canada, USA and south Africa, and the Rotary Foundation. The total project budget is about $80,000 USD.

The main objective of the project is to enhance project based, hands on learning in a group of 11 schools in a very impoverished section of South Africa. Both the teachers and the students will take part in classroom and offsite learning. Most of the learning and participation will take place at the Twinstreams Environmental Centre in coastal wetlands near the community of Mtunzini. Students and teachers will be hosted for 3 days in this camp setting.

Students will identify a project back in their home school area that they can work together to solve. When possible, the focus will be on environmental issues. At the same time the teachers will be given instruction in how they can facilitate this type of learning and project solving. Once the stay at Twinstreams is completed, there are follow up visits and support to both the teachers and students within their school settings.

Baseline test scores were recorded in all subjects prior to this project starting and are being compared on a regular basis. Average student examination scores have been rising and the education ministry in South Africa is watching closely and becoming involved. They are looking at ways they can incorporate this type of STEAM learning into there system.

The project is slated to wind up in June 2024 and so far, is considered to be quite successful. The local host Mtunzini Rotary Club is exploring ways to continue with a second phase of this project.

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