- Written by Super User
Kenya kids as young as three years have a chance to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education thanks to the Little Einsteins holiday camp.
The camp, which stated July 18, is already in session but interested children can still take part.
“All you have to do is call us, book which week you would like your child to attend according to the theme and pay,” said Ian Kihara, an entertainer at Little Einsteins.
The camp which caters to children between the ages of three and 12 years has different themes every week. These are eco-energy, artificial intelligence, simple machines, nature friends, electrific and tech trends. The first theme ran from July 18 to 22 while the second one from July 25 to 29. The other four shall take place in the month of August.
In teaching these subjects, teachers and entertainers employ various methods. For instance for the three to six year olds who are taught between 9am and 12noon.
“We basically do the general experiments and just try to explain to child how different thing work such as our universe. Next week we also have a theme called simple machines and we plan to teach children how various toys (which can be considered simple machines) work. We will be looking at toys such as telephones and motors. This way the children will be able to learn as they play,” said Kihara.
Seeing that they are young and have a short attention span, Little Einsteins also incorporates play into the learning.
“After doing an experiment we play a game then we do another one and let them relax
The types of games played are indoor ones.
“For instance after we have done an experiment using a balloon we will play a game with that balloon or we pass the ball while seated in a circle and then when someone says stop, whoever it lands on, they have to chase them around the circle until they catch them or the other person sits down in their place,”said Kihara.
When teaching the younger ones, precaution is also taken not to bombard them with a host of jargon but rather take them step by step.
“There is an experiment we did with vinegar and baking powder and when you mix it, we tell the children that it causes a chemical reaction. We then take a balloon and are able to fill it up with the carbon dioxide released. We however do not tell the children that this is carbon dioxide but rather tell them that a gas was formed and then proceed to ask them if they know what a gas is,” said Kihara.
After learning for an hour, the children eat their snacks at 10am until 11am. The kids are required to carry their own food after which they continue doing more experiments and playing too until 12noon.
The science camp and Little Einsteins in general came about in a bid to fill the gap that is not catered for in the 8-4-4 system of education.
“In our Kenyan education system, kids are not taught general knowledge and science from a young age. When you start teaching them at the age of three, you nurture that curiousity and make them interested in these subjects,” said Kihara.
When it comes to opening up the minds of these youngsters, Little Einsteins seems to be doing their job right. Their insatiable appetite for science seems t be growing as they take the experiments back home.
“We have heard parents tell us how sometimes children try the experiments we did at the lab, at home,” said Kihara.
The team that makes up Little Einsteins are two scientists-who are graduates, an entertainer and a minder. The team has also undertaken courses in First Aid.
At the camp, which is currently taking place at St.Christophers, Little Einsteins takes a maximum of 10 children per day with two teachers. At the Lavington Green mall where their laboratory is situated, they take a maximum of 10 children per day with four teachers and one minder.
To join Little Einsteins, there is an annual registration fee of Sh2000 per child. Per week, the programme costs Sh6000 if the registration fees has been paid or Sh6600, if not. If you have two children and you pay the registration fee, you get a 10 per cent discount on the second child. Per day, the charge is Sh1300.