Science in the western highlands of Guatemala

Baylab Guatemala

The Baylab project Guatemala created and implemented a science program for a selected school in San Jose Yalu, Sumpango, Chimaltenango, attended by kakchiquel children, which includes basic training in science for the teachers and the implementation of a simple science laboratory. Focus was set on chemistry and biology topics. Different activities were designed for the children from 1st to 6th grade, according to their level of academic development.

 

Location:

Sumpango, Sacatepequez

Country:

Guatemala

Founded:

2018

Participants:

approx. 200 per year (5 to 13 years old)

Thematic Focus:

Chemistry, Biology, Agriculture, Food & Nutrition

Background and History:

Results from the last Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (TERCE) which evaluated the learning achievements of 3rd and 6th grade students from15 countries in Latin America, revealed that Guatemala is below the regional average for reading, writing, math and natural sciences (MINEDUC and UNESCO, 2015). Many of the difficulties Guatemalan students face during the learning process of these topics,particularly indigenous rural children, are based on the lack of teaching programs contextualized to the local culture and language spoken in their region. In Sumpango, located in the western highlands of Guatemala, the population speaks 3 (kaqchikel, tzutuhil and k’iché) of the 24 different languages spoken in the country, hindering the learning processes of its children since the education in Guatemala is officially in Spanish. The worldview of the Sumpango people, together with its particular set of beliefs, traditions and language, reveals the need to create efficient strategies for contextualized education that will facilitate the learning process of their children. This project aims to create and implement in a year, a contextualized science program for a selected school in Sumpango, attended by kakchiquel children, which includes basic training in science for the teachers and the Implementation of a simple science laboratory.

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