IOP for Africa – teaching practical physics in Ghana

30 October 2017 | Source: IOP for Africa – teaching practical physics in Ghana

In July this year the IOP for Africa training programme in Ghana continued with another practical physics teacher training course, delivered by UK volunteer, David Swinscoe, Director of the Centre for Applied Sciences at City and Islington College, and in-country coordinators.

Electronics was introduced to the physics curriculum in Ghana a few years ago and as a result the practical physics teacher training delivered by the IOP focuses on equipping teachers with the new knowledge and skills required to teach this important topic. This year IOP volunteers worked with secondary school teachers in Ghana to learn how to use the electronic component provided to all schools by the Ghanaian Ministry of Education, develop soldering techniques and introduce robotics to the classroom.

Throughout the training teachers received hands-on experience of practical activities linked to the theory that they are required to teach in their classrooms. Teachers developed the skills to design and build their own circuits using materials readily available in schools. Teachers explored ways to demonstrate physics principles using the electronics components available to them. Teachers also built their own robots from simple equipment and used their programming skills to make these robots more sophisticated.

The last day of training was attended by the National Science Director of Ghana who spoke to participants and presented certificates of attendance. In addition to running the training, David Swinscoe had the opportunity to talk with the physics and engineering departments at the University of Ghana to learn about their practical teaching techniques.