Foldscope activity challenge Day 5

Feb 13th, 17:00 / Gradually I noticed the duration of activity was decreasing day after another due to some reasons for example how I reacted to things happened and the expectations I had did not match the reality. I faced things I did not encounter them before nor thought of them, all made me feel less courageous compared to when I started.

About the activity:

The activity was 40m in the local garden for 3 kids. In the beginning I spoke to man who is responsible of the garden, he liked the idea and welcomed to do activity there anytime.
There was kids sitting there near a booth he told them I will do activity in science they looked so shy and 2 of them were girls. I tried to make them feel safe and engage them personally in process.

I stepped back and let them “own” the activity. They collected samples from around then prepared slides by themselves.

Activity Lessons & Reviews:

  • Shorten long introductions in the beginning about what’s lens and how it works by giving example of glasses without going into much details.
  • Audio record the of activity to have more details to reflect on.
  • Reduce procrastination to do activity everyday and on time by simply putting myself out of the home.

Reflection:

After this day, I remember unintentionally I was taking into consideration many things before I stop by kids regarding how I was so picky in choosing places based on:

  • Avoiding closed/narrow streets.
  • Trying to be away from the front of other homes.
  • Less potential of adults interfering the activity.
  • Much more public spaces where its crowded by people that others do not know each other so they won’t dare or care what’s going on to disrupt.

Above points should not be the case and not taken into consideration of where to do science in society – as I was doing them unintentionally maybe to avoid confronting people or fear of being misunderstood-.
Because deciding where to do street science should depend on:

  • What you are looking for to achieve?
  • Where you want to conduct your activity?
  • How far to go to reach kids with (less or more) chances can try science in their lives?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What time of the day?
  • Number of visits needed to deliver the message and address activity goals?

To do “science for society” it is good to start from where one feel most comfortable then slowly expand to more experience required areas.
So its fine to be picky about places in the beginning until one gains more experience and ready to expect/handle any situation may happen.

Levels of doing science in society from comfortable to street science “expect anything” level.

Narrow scope workshops for:

  • Close family.
  • Big family and relatives.
  • Friends and extended network.
  • Transition to general public slowly start inviting people from public to little larger workshops to attend e.g. parents with their kids.

Widen the scope and expand to:

  • Schools.
  • Public places e.g. Parks/Fun fairs, shopping centers etc.
  • Street science (based neighborhood + near by ones).
  • Villages.

One Comment Add yours

  1. jholmes says:

    It is very interesting to read your posts Mohamad. It is interesting to think about the lessons you are sharing and thinking about bringing science to our communities. The neighborhood I live in is very much concrete and asphalt, it is a little different from your garden and neighborhoods of homes. I like your ideas! In the middle of Broadway, the main street in front on my apartment building, there is a little park. But it is mostly full of adults. I would love to do something right there in the middle of the neighborhood, but it is maybe not the right place? There are other streets which maybe have more young people, and family groups on weekends. Your writing makes me think about how and where people interact in our community, and which people, which age. I really do not see so many kids out in my neighborhood. Just in the mornings, when they are headed to school, and later in the day they are headed home. I am going to have to think more about this and the best place for me to do something. Thank you for sharing, you have some very good points and ideas here. – Jay

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