Kids as Problem Solvers

We are introducing a real world problem as one of the core activities for this STEM Summer Camp.

With technology: laptops, the internet, cameras, and mapping tools students will explore all aspects of the real world problem of common roadside and household trash disposal.

 The research:

Students will use XO laptops and the internet to research the impact trash materials found commonly discarded in public places.

Students will

  • Locate, map, and categorize trash disposed within a quarter hectare
  • Count and chart trash weight, size, type of trash (paper, plastic (type of plastic), metal (type) & distribution in a selected area.
  • Research the impact of types of trash on the environment, birds and animals
  • Research the disposal methods for each type of trash, and what is the most environmentally beneficial or recycled.
  • What can be recycled or better re-used?

Why Chose Trash?

In most of open air markets and schools, people use plastic materials and dispose them anywhere after use. They have no assigned places for proper disposal thus leading to a dirty environment, jigger’s infestation, diarrhea cases due to water pollution and increased sites for mosquito breeding which causes malaria cases.

 Goals of the camp

The purpose of the camp is to engage children in collaborative learning activities, developing skills is using the XO laptop hardware and software, and challenging their math, science, writing and analytical skills to take on a real world problem that impacts their lives. The XO and Sugar software provides the Wikipedia and the internet to research the science of the problem, math tools to assemble statistics and create charts cameras to interview, and record;  tools to write reports and draw illustrations for public notices. We hope to motivate  kids in trash collection leading to environmental management initiative and proper disposables in both market centers and public institutions.


Preparation on field data collection tools (questionnaires, interview guides, use of record activity on the xo laptop)

Moving around the camp outskirts to document the trash distribution, recording video the location, type and amount using the XO camera technology.

Interviewing and meeting the surrounding community to discuss the problems with trash.

Expected results

In the end, students will become agents of change by designing solutions, testing them, demonstrating and educating their community on their benefits.

The potential of the camp is to provide the children in a collaborative, exploratory, challenging and fun learning environment. They will enjoy working together, getting to know new children from other schools, and learning to respect the talent and intelligence of each participant. They will have teachers to assist them in using the laptops and guiding the activities.  In addition to improving math, research and writing skills, the students are solving problems with impact on economic and social development. This impact can meet the challenges of water pollution and help alleviate pressure on the environment.

–          Kids to be able to educate and implement proper trash disposals.

–          Kids to be able to come up with projects which they think are important related to environmental management.

–          New learner to go back with proper message about trash disposables.

–          The community to be able and ready to support the XO laptop initiative in trash maintenance.

–          Kids to identify potential impacts on the environmental management.

–          Kids to propose appropriate mitigation measures on environmental management plan in their school co-curricula activities.

–          Kids to provide information on the xo laptops that assures the public and any other agency that by the use of the xo laptop technology to meet statutory responsibility of proper trash management.


About smallsolutionsbigideas

Believer in educating the world using "open systems", "open content", "open source" and providing tools to inquiring minds without pre-conditions.
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