Capacity building in science education in rural communities
The importance of youth participation in science professions is consistently increasing with awareness of challenges people face around the world. However, chronic infrastructure under-investment and lack of effective science teacher education in rural and remote communities has resulted in a disadvantage for youth living in such areas. For the past decade Pueblo Science, a Canadian-based charity, has delivered professional development programs for science teachers in remote communities in the developing world. These programs include geographically specific curriculum content development, with a focus on hands-on learning methodology. We have also mentored and initiated out-of-school science activities, enabling youth to consider science as more than a school subject and use their acquired knowledge to undertake challenges meaningful for them and their community. In this presentation, we will share our experience working with teachers and students in Canada, the Philippines, in Guyana and in Jamaica. We will showcase some of the activities that were developed and rationalize their relevance to the local communities. We will also present how we successfully transitioned our programs online during the pandemic and share the best practices we've learned from training science educators and outreach instructors on how to engage students during synchronous or asynchronous learning.