Ghana Together works with our Ghanaian friends of Western Heritage Home, a Ghanaian-registered and managed non-profit, to improve social, educational, and health conditions in Axim, Ghana. Together we accomplish projects, connect WHH to resourceful individuals and organizations, and create sustainable programs. We make a real difference to real people in a local, grassroots effort. Our website at tells our story.

Sep 23, 2009

Science Workshops in Axim

Jerome Chandler, Professor Emeritus, Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA will conduct three week-long workshops for 66 JHS science teachers in the Axim, Ghana School District. With the generous assistance of many friends, Jerome has assembled an impressive set of low-cost materials, mostly built out of ordinary household materials, to demonstrate the principles of physics. He is basing his workshop content on the Ghanaian Dept of Education JHS Science Curriculum.

For example, shown here is a portable tripod, used to support a pendulum, which he says "perfectly demonstrates the scientific methodologies of observation, measurement, and repeatability." Another innovation is the use of two ordinary "slinkies" at about $1.50 each, sewn together with copper wire, with which he can demonstrate all kinds of compression, and wave action, including surfs, tides, currents, etc. (Axim being on the Atlantic Ocean, this is very down-to-earth). He made a simple jigsaw puzzle to show continental plate tectonics, and has various other simple devices to show electrical currents, ultraviolet light, and other natural phenomena. Jerome found a good used overhead projector and assembled dozens of visual materials---creating them himself or through the generosity of Skagit Valley College Science Department. On each overhead transparency he indicates the exact spot in the Ghanaian Science Curriculum that contains the concept he is conveying. All of the materials will be left with the Nsein Senior High in Axim to be available to teachers throughout the district.

The workshops are an outgrowth of conversations between Ghana Together visitors to Axim, and the science curriculum leader there, Mr. Sarfo Hayford. The teachers asked us to find a creative teacher to help them figure out how to teach their curriculum with simple local materials they can afford---not a simple request in a severely strapped community, where the basic teaching materials are blackboard, chalk, and exercise book!

Jerome is accompanied by his son Paul Chandler, who will assist him and also work with the children at WHH Children's Home on One Laptop Per Child Computers and teach them how to play harmonicas!

The workshops are sponsored jointly by Western Heritage Home (Ghanaian NGO), and Ghana Together in conjunction with the Nzema East Education District-Axim.