Two lecturers Dr. Lee Yee Ling and Dr. Vinothini Vasodavan together with eight undergraduate students from the School of Education embarked on a mission to make a difference. They conducted science workshops at a refugee school - 'Dignity for Children Foundation'. Dignity for Children Foundation is a non-governmental organization that provides holistic care and education for urban poor children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children (from over 25 nationalities) ranging from 2-19 years old.
The endeavour was a testament to the belief that education knows no boundaries. Two parallel workshops were organized to cater to the unique needs of the students at Dignity for Children Foundation. The "Light and Shadow" workshop was designed for Year 5 students, while the "Energy and Force" workshop targeted Year 6 students.
The "Light and Shadow" workshop proved to be an enlightening experience for the 75 of Year 5 students who participated. The students were divided into groups, each led by a dedicated Student Teacher. At one station, they experimented with coloured shadows using different coloured glass papers. At another station, they created various patterns on paper to observe the formation of shadows with different shapes. Throughout these activities, Student Teachers facilitated discussions and posed thought-provoking questions, guiding the students in understanding the underlying science concepts.
Meanwhile, the "Energy and Force" workshop engaged 64 of Year 6 students. Here, the students delved into the world of frictional force and how different surfaces affect its magnitude. Student Teachers moved between groups, mentoring students as they conducted experiments, measured results, and formulated hypotheses.
At the conclusion of these workshops, the students completed an exit ticket, providing valuable feedback on their experiences. Reflection videos by the Student Teachers revealed the profound impact of this authentic learning opportunity. They gained invaluable real-life teaching experiences, preparing them for their final practicum. This hands-on engagement allowed them to create age-appropriate activities and assessment tasks, effectively translating theoretical knowledge into practical teaching skills.