Building a Hands-On Science Culture Among Ghanaian STEM Teachers

 

Practical Education Network (PEN) is a social impact startup with a mission to invigorate West African STEM education and enable an interactive, experiential learning system. Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, PEN provides teacher-training workshops that empower STEM teachers to facilitate inquiry-based learning and explore hands-on activities that use low-cost and locally available materials. To date, PEN has trained over 2,000 teachers, hosted more than 70 workshops, and planned over 178 activities aligned with the Ghanaian curriculum.

Science teachers in Ghana face numerous challenges, including lack of pre- and in-service teacher training for hands-on science and a lack of materials. Practical Education Network (PEN) provides teacher-training workshops that empower science teachers to facilitate inquiry-based learning and explore hands-on activities that use locally available materials. Based on the finding that one-off teacher trainings alone are not sufficient to enable teachers to implement hands-on science, the Capstone team developed an incentive strategy to increase teacher uptake of in-class activities. The team also made recommendations to improve PEN’s monitoring & evaluation practices, including providing guidance on data collection, analysis, and storage. The team’s final deliverables include toolkits, step-by-step implementation, and measurement guides for immediate incorporation into organization processes.