How We Teach Scratch

Using Math and Design Based Thinking to Create: Classes for children, learning to create projects in Scratch Junior or Scratch, using MakeyMakey.  These projects can be animations, games, puzzles, simulations. Our approach to learning is design based knowledge construction, and thinking about thinking process.  These classes will be tailored to those who are interested. We like working with small. If you are interested in these classes, now or in 2018 please contact us. Susan McPhee, Alan Papert and Sandra Thaxter are the instructors.

Small Solutions has held taught Scratch classes at FRS in previous years.  We would like to solicit interest before scheduling. We donate 25% of all church members class fees to FRS.  This year we are working on the theme of Re-Imagining the future. Children in Kenya thought about the homes they wanted, how their city should look.  These projects could range from imagining the cars of the future, to simulating sea rise or species extinction, to creating games to meet future environmental challenges.

 

Sandra Thaxter has been working with Scratch for 7 years, Alan Papert had a career as a design engineer and was part of the Turtle Seymour Papert children’s programming research. Susan McPhee is a programmer and enthusiast of Scratch Junior.  Contact sandra@smallsolutionsbigideas.org  or go to our website for more information http://smallsolutionsbigideas.org

 

Makey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween:

 

Scratch and Scratch Junior are a child friendly programming environment developed at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is an expanding set of tools and programs that  connects to MakeyMakey, Lego Robotics, Arduino and Music streaming.

 

Small Solutions Big Ideas is dedicated to providing children with learning opportunities that expand their thinking and awareness. We are enthusiasts of after-school informal learning environments.  We structure each class to adapt to the children signed up. Classes are small 8 to 10 students, and students receive individual attention.  We use Scratch programming as an environment for children to build programming skills, but learn how to design complex tasks, such as designing a game, or animating a narrative story, or simulating a natural process.  We also use hands on materials and activities to create and design. 3D design is available for students who are interested in that medium.

 

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Story The Greedy Frog

THE GREEDY FROG.

Written by Subeta

There were those days when frogs were the most beautiful reptiles on earth. There voices were so sweet and they had also smooth shiny skin and strong graceful legs. These made other animals liked them. They also liked singing to other animals.

 

There lived one frog called Lende. Lende had such a nice voice that all animals gathered at her hut, after every morning’s work for songs and stories.

 

However, in those days good things never missed there bed side. Lende was very greedy for food, This made her hate other animals. She had a fellow greedy friend called Kaza.

Kaza could not leave Lende ́s home without eating. She always made long  unending stories in order to wait for food.

    One day Kaza decided to pay her long time friend Lende a visit to hear her beautiful stories and songs. She was also hungry as she had not eaten for the past three days. She had timed her arrival at lunch time when she was very sure that Lende has prepared food. She drew closer to her friends house. The sweet smell of boiling pumpkins filled her stomach.

    I will use all tricks to get that greedy friend of mine to give me food. Kaza said to herself and knocked at the Lende’s door before it could be opened. She peeped through the hole in the wall and saw her friend hiding food. No sooner had she began, than he said! Oh! my friend, the God of the earth and sky has just saved me!

   

What happened to you my friend? Lende asked in disbelief. I almost got a snake bite! A snake, as long as from this place where I am seated to that hot pot under your bed, just crossed my way as I made the last stride away from it. Kaza replied, pointing at the food Lende had hidden.

    “You must be lucky,” replied disappointed Lende. In a flash Kaza got up from his seat and quickly walked to the pot of pumpkins as he demonstrated how long the snake was.

    Oh! my friend, this pot is so hot , what is it that you are cooking under the bed? “, Kaza asked.

Lende was so disappointed and embarrassed that she brought out the food and they all ate together . Kaza ate as fast as she could and even faster than her friend. After the food was all finished she stood up pretending to be going for a short call.

 

Once outside she hurriedly left for home. The following day, another friend also decided to march in without knocking the door. Lende had prepared porridge and potatoes for lunch. My friend saw that porridge seems sweet.  The visitor said, “it is so sweet that we don’t even need sugar to make it sweeter”, she added.

    Lende tried hiding the porridge but she slid and burned her soft and smooth skin. The visitor was so hungry that she had never allowed the porridge to go like that. She bent over Lende and with her long and rough tongue, cleared all the porridge on her friends skin each time removing with it the skin and part of Lende’s flesh.

    Mr. Hare was another problem to Lende because he could smell food from far and walk into his house talking about it.

    “Ooh! what a delicious meal for you have cooked” said the hare. I will come with my children to help you eat the food. Lende got fed up with her friends and decided to swallow hot stone to spoil the sweet voice brought so many visitors. As the stone rolled down her throat it burned her that she could not bear with the pain any more. She jumped near by pool of water to drink some water to cool her pain that had gotten worse by now. However, she tried getting out of water the pain got worse that even breathing was a problem. She therefore, decided to stay permanently in water to keep cooling her throat and so to avoid many visitors. That is why up to now frogs have very rough voice, skin and also stays in water.

   

    LESSON learned from the story:

Greedy does not pay but instead can give a permanent body harm.

The story helps as to mentor ourselves and fit in the current society of 21st century.

 

WARNING

We should not be selfish instead be kind to others.

 

written by Subeda wanjala from Bukokholo RC Primary school grade 8, 2018   



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Sustainable Agriculture Case Studies

  • BUTONGE PRIMARY SCHOOL – SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE CASE STUDY TEAM – BUNGOMA
  • BUNGOMA SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PRESENTATION ON 12TH JUNE, 2018
  • INTERNATIONAL DISTANCE LEARNING

THERE WERE THREE PRESENTORS: A). HELLEN N. WATITI GRADE 8 BUTONGE PRIMARY SCHOOL – BUNGOMA- KENYA

Hi everyone, my name is Hellen Watiti a grade eight student of Butonge primary school Bungoma Kenya.Welcome participants. OUR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE GOAL

Our main goal of practicing sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generation starting from our current generation to meet our own needs.

Being practitioners of sustainable agriculture, we seek to integrate three main objectives in our farm work as follows;

A). A healthy environment

B). Economic profitability and

C). Social economic equity

Therefore, I call upon all countries under OPEN especially schools to be involved in the food system – growers, food processors, distributors, retailers, consumers and waste managers to play a role in ensuring a sustainable agricultural system.

As students of Butonge primary school Bungoma Kenya, our major practice in sustainable agriculture will be to promote soil health, minimize water use and lower pollution levels on our farms.

Thank you,

Hellen.

B) METRINE WEKESA GRADE EIGHT BUTONGE PRIMARY SCHOOL- BUNGOMA KENYA

My name is Metrine Wekesa grade eight of Butonge primary school Bungoma Kenya and am to present over our preparation. Preparation that we are trying to put in place,

Through the school management board, we have been given part of our school land that we will use to practice sustainable agriculture demo plots. In that part of land we are going to divide it into four small plots measuring 6m by 6m or 18ft by 18ft.

We intend to start with two crops i.e beans and sweet potatoes early August this year 2018

Between now to August we are looking forward to do soil sampling to know our school’s soil PH before we prepare for planting.

Thank you,  Metrine.

C).EMMANUEL WAFULA GRADE EIGHT BUTONGE PRIMARY SCHOOL- BUNGOMA KENYA:  PREPARATION PROCESS

My name is Emmanuel Wafula of Butonge primary school – Bungoma Kenya

After knowing the soil PH, as a school team, we will to collect organic manure (compost manure).

Out of 100 students who will participate in our sustainable agriculture demo plots, especially bean plot, we have resolved each student to come along with two kgs of compost manure and prepare it for planting beans on the plot that we will be doing conservation farming and on a control plot we will use inorganic fertilizer as we continue to study our soil fertility improvement in next planting season.

Not only shall we be monitoring soil fertility improvement, but also see crop production performance.

In our preparation we are seeking technical advice from agricultural experts especially agronomist and agricultural extension offices to inform us more about spacing, pest and disease control among other farming basic technical requirements.

Thank you,

Emmanuel.

QUESTIONS

  • Is it proper to eat sweet potatoes with their skin (without peeling)?SustainableAfriMeeting
  • How can we control potato weevils?
  • Why sometimes bean leaves change color to yellow prematurely?

 

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Supporting Community Leadership

Dear Friends,

Through the generosity of our donors, this young woman is being trained in nutrition.  She has gained notably superior marks in her work.  She will come back to the Bungoma community and share her knowledge and services.  This strengthens the impact of our programs, and builds goodwill and trust in the community.  Everyone benefits.

Receive many greetings from this end of the great rift valley of our beloved country Kenya. I hope and trust that you’re doing well in the United States of America. I’m also doing well here in my training school as I say once again that, thank you so much for your immeasurable support that enabled to be where I ‘am.

I’m learning new things about nutrition of which historically, people of my community are not upholding them. For instance, I have to help my community on the side of maintaining good health. For example, one should choose a diet moderate in sugar and salt. This is because, too much consumption of sugar leads to hypertension, diabetes and too much consumption of salt leads to goiter. They should choose a diet of whole grains, vegetables especially; they are given too much food to children, weaning starts too early or late without following health procedures and they are often sick.

Solutions on how to curb the above problems,

I will encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months before complimenting them.

I have to teach mothers to complement their babies at 6 months so that they can get enough food and breast milk

Mothers should vaccine their children in order to protect their immunity.

As a dietitian, I will use the following dietary assessment to assess the diet of people in the community.

For example;

Food Frequency Questionnaire:

This is whereby a person is given a list of around 100 food items to indicate his or her intake per day, week, and month.

24 hour dietary recall;

Trainer interviewer asks the subject to recall all food and drinks taken in the previous 24 hours.

Dietary history:

Its aim is to discover the usual food intake pattern of an individual over a relatively long period of time.

Food dietary:

Food intake should be recorded by the subject at a time of consumption

Observed food consumption:

The unused in clinical method practice but is recommended for research.

I will go ahead to advice people of my community to plant plenty of guava trees and teach them about the importance of eating a balanced diet e.g fats, minerals, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates.

According to analysis of diet survey data, the measure of nutrient provided by the diet is calculated by basing on calories supplied by the food such as that food rich in nutrients relative to the energy content are termed a food with high nutrient density. E.g !kg carbohydrate(CHO)- 4 Kilo calories (kca)

1kg proteins – 4 kilo calories (kca)

1g fats – 9 kilo calories (kca)

1g alcohol – 7 kilo calories (kca)

In our community, there are children, who are malnourished due to,

Not getting enough breast milk

Given too little food and

Overfeeding among other diet requirements

Here is my performance report:

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Brighton on Corruption

CORRUPTION IN KENYA
Corrruption is where a person becomes greed of money and needs to be bribed in order to do something.Corruption in Kenya has been widely spread in all parts including in schools,offices,companies,churches and hospitals.

Kenya has been noted by many countries in all parts of the wold to be among the most corrupt countries. Behold the fact that Kenya is one of the third world countries in the world where citizens depend on education for survival, throug corruption Kenya is killing her own inovative and prosporous son.

A good example is a person who works as the company manager,he claims that he want kitu kidogo (something small) in order to employ ssomebody. This leads to lose of jobs to the poor who are educated, they lose chances because they have nothing to offer.

Principals in schools are bribed by parents who had their children perfoming poorly for them to get a chance inthe school while the poor children who perfomed better loses the chance.

Traffic police officers need to be bribed by drivers.The drivers who have wrecked dud vehicles which may lead to accidents on *roads are allowed to pass on roads.

Effects of corruption
1. Corruption has led in killing of prosperous and inovative minds which can change kenya by vission 2030.
Managers can only employ the rich who are able to offer something smallto them .
Through this we discover that Africa is killing her own son
2.Accidents are rapidly becoming high because traffic police officers are allowing wrecked,old and poorly managed trucks passing on roads.
3.Companies are collapsing because the managers employ unskilled people who are rich leavingout the skilled people who are poor.
4.Extreme poverty.

What kenya shall do to overcome corruption.
1.Citizens should practice equality to all because we were made by the same God and our blood is made of the same colour.
2.Citizens should not be greed of money.
3.Citizens should conduct public rallies so as to fight corruption by conducting public awarenesses.

US BEING YOUTHS,LETS DISCUSS CORRUPTION SO THAT IT CANT HAPPEN AGAIN IN OUR GENERATION.

LETS UNITE AND FIGHT CORRUPTION

LETS SAVE THE LIVES OF THE POOR AND OPHARNS

KENYA-CORRUPTION=PEACE+LOVE+UNITY+PROSPERIT

BrightonBY  BRIGHTON

Brighton is one of our Scholarship students. He is attending St. Luke’s High School for Boys.  It is a very good prestigious local school.  He wants to be an engineer.  He is one of our ‘building youth leadership’ students.  He contributes to the learning and activities at the Hands of Charity/SSBI Technology Education center.

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Black Panther – What questions does it pose for us?

What questions does Marvel Comics “Black Panther” movie pose for us?

  1. How do we recover and overcome the sins of our fathers.?
  2. Is it possible that the powerful plant or the equally powerful mineral – that changes the world might be invented in some remote African village?
  3. How much of war is male egos?  And in this film how do the women suceed in turning their power towards healing rather than conquest?

 

Does it make a difference that people of color have joined the mostly white club of directors and filmmakers. Kudos to Marvel for Black Panther and its director, Ryan Coogler. The performances are remarkable in the quality of the acting, beauty, grace and authenticity of the characters,  The role of women in the drama, and the rescue of their country is worth a discussion. The genre is a Superhero Comic book genre. The main character Ch’alla appeared first in 1966, and overtime has rated at the 52nd most popular Super hero.

 

Black Panther is not only beautifully executed with strong performances especially notable are the performances of the women, Lupita Nygong’o as Nakia, Letita Wright as Suri, and Florence Kasumba as Ayo.  The character portrayed by T’Challa by Chadwick Boseman, is one of the tradition of challenges that prove his earning leadership How can we build a future from poverty.

 

The theme of a kingdom in the hidden forests of Africa what has the key to the future and to a world peace is a timely message.  My experience of African people, especially the women, is a remarkable strength overcoming the obstacles of poverty, failed governments and access to education.  I find them also totally dedicated to building a better future for their country, and ready to take leadership into their own hands.The are strong in technology. It is a great message to youth of color that the smartest person in the story is a woman who has built the technology that fuels their civilization.   And who plays the tradtiona role of ‘evil’ in this movie version that is now playing? Someone very like the sterotype of the aparthied Boers Africaans. Toally reckless in his valuing of himan life. The other evil is a California home grown young man who has been through the US military war in Afghanistan, and become a killer.  He has a disarmingly casual cool demeanor, which some may think makes him not very believable. The face that so many people of color have suffered for so long from the effects of racism and had to wear a cool innocent face to get through life is not far from the truth of the hidden anger that mus be brewing – that we see now in Black Lives Matter.   

This film provides a vision of rising up and conquering from the perspective of those have suffered, and as a good Superhero movie does, holds out for the good guys, the superheroes, to overcome evil and launch a future of peace and reconciliation.  The fact that their skin color is not white, is a powerful message to people of all colors.

 

I’d like to contrast the women in this film with those in  Wonder Woman film. I found the physical and dramatic portrayal of strong women much more convincing in this film..   For the Kenyan actress, Lupita N’gongo she knows the struggle of her Kenyan sisters who had to be strong, to face survival issues such as FGM, early marriage,preferential treatment and  education of the males. Many made bargains with their families and tribes for their freedom and right to an education, others fled to secure their future. Her power, and anger is fueled by an internal knowledge. It looks vastly different from the horse back riding sisters of Wonder Woman.  

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Many Kids – Not Enough Laptops

Join Our Campaign: Our goal is to provide 120 devices to Hands of Charity Programs.

Who knew that from every corner of these hill towns children emerge and the schools are overflowing. This was where we landed 6 years ago. These villages clustered within 4 kilometers of each other have possibly 10 schools, many with classrooms of 50 to 70 pupils. We are hoping to increase the number of laptops, tablets and macbooks to meet the need. Our leaders work seven days a week, because the time students have to access computers during are in school programs is not enough. So they come on the weekends, often 70 to 100. Help us with this fundraiser: http://gofundme.com/path4kenya

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HOC Teachers Address Girl’s Issues April 2017

 

Hands of Charity was inspired by the work of our partner organization in Uganda, Venture for Good in Jina,   making reusable sanitary pads.  We sent some fundst Hands of Charity for them to purchase supplies, so they have begun.  The plans are for the teachers do hold community events,  as funds are available and invite girls to come and learn about their reproductive health, about how to handle their fear of men, and develop pride and faith in the wonder and beauty of being female.  Here is their report.

HANDS OF CHARITY BUNGOMA OLPC APRIL 2017 REPORT

WESTERN IHUB

WEEK 1 APRIL 2017

It was the last week for the schools to break for the holidays.

Teachers Rose, Anita, Rhodah and Irene were to prepare girls who were to come at the center and learn how to make sanitary pads for themselves.

Teachers shared ideas on how to develop skills of solving problems at their level of understanding.

Teachers did not only prepare on homemade sanitary pads but also on general reproductive health issues and sanitation.

 

2nd WEEK APRIL 2017

Girls aged 12 years and above were brought together at the center for homemade sanitary pad lessons and general hygiene talks lead by Teacher Rose and Anita

Major things girls learned over homemade sanitary pads was;

-what material are to be used?

-how cost effective they are?

-how to cut and have recommended measurement of the sanitary pads.

How the pads are used compared to those sold in shops.

Major aim of doing this was to improve confidence in young girls and minimize school absents of girls during their menstrual periods and reduce costs to the families that are not financially able and balance self-esteem in all the girls cutting across all lifestyle.

 

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Why Africa is Important

It’s not just that Africa is important, it has always been important, what I want to say is that Africa is a critical part of our future as Americans.  In the next ten to twenty years, the maturing second generation of leaders of these new democracy leaning countries  (remember most African countries did not gain independence until the 1960s and 70s)  will drive significant political and economic changes in the continent.  Africa will be the the planet’s most populous continent in the next 30 years. It is also much larger and diverse geographically than most of us realize.  Africa is rich in resources, intelligent educated citizens and talent.  In addition Africans are highly motivated to move past the old politics to establish truly representative governments.   Already these countries have more women in leadership roles, and Kenya has a written a new constitution.

 

What is important here is the large population of youth. In some cases it is 60% of the country.  The youth bubble challenged governments to build enough classrooms and train enough teachers.to meet the education needs for the 21st century.  Kenya’s current president ran on a platform that featured not just education, but technology for education.  He has been in power almost 4 years, and just now the technology is arriving in schools for the 6 year-olds.  Teacher salaries have increased, as well as investments in creating a digital curriculum. A large percentage of schools in Kenya now have electricity.   This is not true in many other African nations, but what they do all have is some access to cell phone and the internet.  Another cultural factor is that African countries do tend to work collaborate regionally.  East Africa has open borders among 5 countries, so that goods, people, jobs and educations cross borders.

Efforts such as those of a small organization like are able to bring rural communities out of isolation, assist them in using their technology in schools, not just to learn math, reading and science, but to benefit the community through project based learning initiatives.  Bonaventure has led our students to become community workers to eliminate Jiggers infections, to educate girls about their reproductive health, to develop girls into leaders, to assist in the healing and education for HIV affected families and have assisted orphans develop skills and find sponsors for their continued education.

Listen to this Video by one our young female teachers:   https://youtu.be/TtFLD16zHaU

What Africa doesn’t have is the capital investment.  Our students may graduate for secondary school to a country that has no jobs for them, no career opportunities. So how do we prepare them.  Through the project based learning, they are able to develop the vision of their capacity to be innovators and leaders.  We are pleased to have worked with George Newman at One Planet Education who has taught them about effective advocacy, and research.  They have learned how to speak out, how to collaborate with their peers in Asia, the US and the Middle East. Surely such efforts will bring positive outcomes and new opportunities for our 21st century.

Watch this video created by one of the orphans supported by our center’s leaders.   https://youtu.be/nlGeywKnEfY

 

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Gabon Maze

Small Solutions Big Ideas Connect Kids February vacation program was introducing simple games to our students.  Mazes are early games that children play, and also a favorite in the Sugar XO Activities that our students in Kenya have been using for the last 6 years.

On the day the workshop began,  I heard a news report about the poaching of forest elephants in the African country of Gabon.  Gabon is in West Africa.  We looked up the country on Google Earth and found out that forest covered almost two thirds of the land.  The forest is thick, and so dense that no one had tracked down the elephants in the forest for many years.  The country decided to do an inventory.

The results of the inventory were shocking.  The number of forest elephants surviving since the last inventory was about 20%. The forest was full of poachers and they had even established an active gold mine deep in the forest.

We read more about the elephants, and decided to design our Scratch Maze game as the Gabon Forest. The sprites were small tribes of elephants, and poachers.

First we created our forest on paper with the trails of the elephants as the maze, and then the students imagined different danger spots, where lions might attack, or near the gold mine where poachers were living.  They also created some safe areas for the elephants.  We practiced making mazes.  Then we used our Scratch program.  Sprites are like the players in the game.  So we created tribes of elephants as sprites, and wild randomly flying dark glasses as the poachers. The create the maze we used the background and painted our forests and the elephant trails.

We programmed the elephants to move with the keyboard arrow keys.  The poachers had a random fast moving pattern, so that the elephants had to be careful to avoid them.  We put in our lakes as safe places, the gold mine, cliffs or rocks as danger places.  There was more work to do, but it was fun.  Below are photos of students using MakeyMakey, and then creating a maze on the floor.

We will post the Mazes to our studio  http://scratch.mit.edu/studios/2935407/.  If you go to the scratch website, anyone with our without a scratch account can see our projects.

Come and Join our Classes   Starting in April 2017.  On Thursday, March 30th, you can come at 4 PM to the Unitarian Church in Newburyport to see what we are doing, and whether you’d like to sign up.  More information on our website too on the Connect Kids page.

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