25 February 2009
Effective science education is essential in today’s world. For a decade now, UNESCO has been introducing the methodology for microscience into the education systems in different parts of the world.In late February 2009, a chemistry miscroscience kit was introduced to science teachers from 15 Bishkek based secondary schools. This UNESCO workshop was hosted by the Kyrgyzstan National Commission for UNESCO. It was led on behalf of UNESCO by Professor Alexander Pokrovsky, a former UNESCO science specialist.
The microscience methodology gives primary and secondary school teachers and students an opportunity to conduct practical scientific experiments in physics, chemistry and biology using kits that come with a textbook.
Practical experiences are an essential part of learning science. However, in many countries these experiments are not possible in schools, due to the cost, safety, waste disposal and teacher preparation.
These UNESCO kits are true mini-laboratories. They are safe. Students never need to use more than a couple of drops of chemicals for each experiment. The kits are also affordable and far cheaper than conventional laboratory material.
Each kit is compact, can be reused and is unbreakable because it is made of plastic. In addition, the small quantities of chemicals used make it environmentally friendly.
The approach can be adapted to the education system of any country.
The project is collaborative between UNESCO, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO),the International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development (IOCD)and International Organization of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).
The miscroscience kits are now in use in more than 80 countries. In Central Asia, UNESCO's related teaching and learning materials have been translated into Kazakh and Kyrgyz languages.
The teachers representing 15 different schools who took part in the training in Bishkek found the kits very helpful as teaching aids and Gymnasium number 6 of Bishkek city, which hosted the training, agreed to undertake an experiment as a pilot school to use the kits as a part of chemistry teaching. the potential to extend the pilot is being explored.