Thanks to my good friend Nalaka Gunawardene, the science writer and the former media spokesman for the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke, I was lucky enough to get an invitation extended by Angelo Fernando, a Sri Lankan American teacher at the Salt River Elementary School Arizona to attend a resourceful two-day workshop on the Best Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths at the National Institute of Education (NIE) on the 15th and the 16th of last December, 2015. There were two hands-on workshops for Science and Technology teachers featuring STEM teachers, scientists, writers, researchers and technology practitioners from the U.S.A. and Sri Lanka. The workshop was conducted by Angelo Fernando and his students and staff of Salt River Elementary School Arizona, the USA.
Dr. Ajith Madurapperuma, a consultant to the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) was the keynote speaker. These were the experts who contributed as resource persons of the workshop. Dr. Paul Funk, Scott Logan, Ruben Gameros, Angelo Fernando, Dr. Nalin Samarasinha, Nalaka Gunawardene, Lal Medawattegama and Nazly Ahmed. Some of them spoke at the event and a few delivered their speeches through Skype from the USA.
These were the topics that the speakers spoke on. Engineering Design, Electricity & Magnetism, Robotics & Coding, Podcasting, Web 2.0, Scientific Writing, Creative Writing, Photography.
After the second day of the workshop, Prasad Perera of the American Center, Colombo invited us to enter the iBus, a bus with laptops and tabs with internet access. You can get the services of this iBus totally free of charge by contacting the American Center. This will be a great asset to the places in Sri Lanka where there is no internet access.
This two-day workshop helped me a lot as we are going to teach Robotics as a new subject at Horizon Lanka Foundation from this year and we also plan to start teaching Science and Mathematics using multimedia technology. Since the students learn the syllabi of those subjects in the public schools and in then at private tuition classes, we do not hope to repeat the same at Horizon Lanka. Instead, we will use more technology to teach these subjects. If you have new ideas to share on this, please send your comments in.