GLOBE Program Hosts Science Education Training in Belize

GLOBE Program Hosts Science Education Training in Belize

Representatives of the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program are in Belize this week, hosting a special training for educators. Through the program, teachers will learn hands-on methods of teaching science, which they will then pass on to their students. Reporter Benjamin Flowers visited the session at the Belize City House of Culture today to find out more.

Benjamin Flowers, Love News: School teachers from across the country are getting their hands dirty this week, learning new methods of teaching environmental science to their students. The training is being facilitated by the Latin American and the Caribbean office of the GLOBE program. Belize signed on to the program two years ago and a cohort of 14 teachers, plus staff from the Ministry of Education are working to become GLOBE certified. Mariana Savino, LAC regional coordinator for the program said that the teaching methods will allow for students to have a greater appreciation of their environment.

Mariana Savino, Regional Coordinator, LAC: “GLOBE is a network of scientists, citizen scientists, students and teachers working together to better understand, sustain and benefit the environment at a local, regional and international level. So the idea is to create this education program to help students to better understand their environment, to put hands on science not learn about science but do science and because they will be doing science they will understand better their environment and they will support it and protect it.”

Benjamin Flowers, Love News: Namrita Balani, Science & Technology Director for the Ministry of Education, says that the training complements the ministry’s transition into the competency-based school curriculum. Balani added that after getting teachers trained, the ministry will be looking at equipping schools.

Namrita Balani, Science and Technology Director, Ministry of Education: “Latin America coordinator reached out saying that they have funding to do a training in person for the first time because we’re a new country and so they came in and now we’re doing the handson experience with the same teachers that did the virtual training. So now we’re looking at these teachers actually doing it and some are really intrigued and are asking you know they want to carry it out in their schools but they don’t have equipment so now we’re saying they’re trained, they have the handson experience now the next thing we can look into like from the ministry possibly some funs that we have and also tap into some grants that we can look into getting some stuff to get equipment in the classroom for them to be able to use the program.”

Benjamin Flowers, Love News: Miriam Paz, a participant in the training course, spoke on how GLOBE’s methods will change the way science is taught in schools.

Mariam Paz, Participant: “I think the key factors would be the engaging of outdoor activities. We’ve been saying let’s do more competency based education within the classroom and then you say well let’s have students interact, let’s have students work in groups but taking advantage of what we have here in Belize which is our beautiful environment taking them outside the classroom, let them experience what is it to make the connections with the concepts that we’re doing. I think the key points are making connections with the environment and make it be meaningful to why is it that I’m learning this and how do I contribute to sustainable development and all the other factors that come with sustainable development taking care of your environment.”

Benjamin Flowers, Love News:  Students will also be able to upload data gathered on Belize to the global network to be accessed by other countries. They will also have opportunities to conduct research projects on the regional level.

Mariana Savino, Regional Coordinator, LAC: “And they can just collect data and upload it to the website to be available to everyone in this world that wants to know about the weather in Belize for example but they can also develop a research project about the topic that they are interested in for example the weather or how the weather changes around the year, how the trees grow depending on the weather conditions. They can develop research projects about their investigation and GLOBE has an international science symposium every year that students all around the world submit their research projects and they are judged by different judges all around the world and give feedback for the students and their research projects and then the LAC regional office hosts every year in May a virtual science fair which all students that submitted their research projects can present and showcase and interact with students within our region.”

Benjamin Flowers, Love News: The GLOBE program is supported by the US National Science Foundation, NOAA, and NASA. Benjamin Flowers for Love News. 

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