Jireh Electronics has been supplying school project kits for 5 years now with great success. There has been some push back from teachers though. Such as Parents should not do the projects for their kids or planning the project is part of the assignment. Even saying that giving every child the same kit is limiting their creativity. We agree that some projects do require an additional element of creativity, but those are reserved for cases where creative thinking processes are the focus point of the educational exercise.
Our business started with one teacher who said that she had a continuous struggle in class with the projects, she would hand out a detailed list of components required for the project, but what the children came back with differed vastly. For an electrical circuit in this case she required a 9V battery, a small electrical globe (the size of the one's being used in flashlights), some electrical connecting wire, and a piece of wood on which the project can be constructed.
Children bought back filament lamps that are used in house applications, D-Cell batteries as used in the large flashlights, a piece of wire that might be to thick to use in a project and a piece of wood that was too hard to push in the thumbtacks for the electrical connections. Admittedly this was the worst case scenario, but it was a very real problem that she was experiencing as a teacher, not even to mention students that might have forgotten to bring anything. These issues were robbing precious time to allow the actual understanding of the working principles of the circuit.
This teacher asked then if we could not make kits for her class. She would get the parents to pay for the kits, and we would supply the teacher with enough kits for every child. This worked tremendously well, the time she spent in the past on sorting out the different project components that each student bought, could now be used to explain the assembly process once and left enough spare time to explain the circuit operation which at the end of the day was the focal point behind the whole project exercise.
Thus in summary the Pros and Cons are as follows:
- Each student has the same kit, allowing each student to get a good mark, promoting equality.
- Parents do not have to spend time looking for project components after work.
- Teachers have more time available the explain the principle thus learning time is increased.
- Perception that parents are doing the project for the child, whilst the opposite is true as the teacher now has time to build the projects in class with the children.
- Perception that creativity is limited, whilst the opposite is true as the actual focus of the learning exercise is understanding of the operating principle aligned with real world experience.
We hope that this blog post will inspire more teachers to make use of these kits, to help to build the future of the Country - the children that are being molded into the adults of tomorrow.
Our kits are available on our online store www.jirehelectronics.co.za
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Should anybody require more information feel free to contact us via the email link listed below.