Full STEAM Ahead – Best Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths Workshop in NIE

Full STEAM Ahead – Best Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths Workshop in NIE
Teachers at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Teachers at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama

Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation,

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.

American and Sri Lankan students at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
American and Sri Lankan students at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Angelo Fernando at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Angelo Fernando at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama

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.

Nalaka Gunawardene at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Nalaka Gunawardene at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama

These were the topics that the speakers spoke on. Engineering Design, Electricity & Magnetism, Robotics & Coding, Podcasting, Web 2.0, Scientific Writing, Creative Writing, Photography.

Nazly Ahmed at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Nazly Ahmed at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama

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.

The iBus of the American Center
The iBus of the American Center

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.

Angelo, Wanni and Nalaka at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Angelo, Wanni and Nalaka at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Teachers at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Teachers at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Teachers at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Teachers at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Prasad Perera of the American Center inside iBus at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Prasad Perera of the American Center inside iBus at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama
iBus logo
iBus logo
Teachers getting on to the iBus
Teachers getting on to the iBus
Teachers inside the iBus at "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Teachers inside the iBus at “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Attendees of "Full STEAM Ahead" workshop at NIE, Maharagama
Attendees of “Full STEAM Ahead” workshop at NIE, Maharagama

Malitta Nanayakkara donates computer equipment to Horizon Lanka

Malitta setting up the PCs at Horizon Lanka
Malitta setting up the PCs at Horizon Lanka

Malitta Nanayakkara is a young software engineer from Rajagiriya, Colombo. Having been inspired by a tweet about resumption of Horizon Lanka academic activities last July 23 by veteran science writer Nalaka Gunawardene, Malitta contacted Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka and promised to donate two computers and other necessary equipment.

Nalaka Gunawardene's tweet about Horizon Lanka
Nalaka Gunawardene’s tweet about Horizon Lanka

Malitta visited Mahawilachchiya today with his friend Manahara Mohotti, another young software engineer from Colombo. Malitta donated two PCs, a digital camera, a sub-woofer, a pen drive, networking equipment and some software to Horizon Lanka Foundation. This is the first ever donation after the resumption of the institute. Horizon Lanka will start teaching ICT as soon as necessary software are installed with the donated equipment. We thank Malitta for visiting and donating most needed equipment to Horizon Lanka.

We request you to chip in helping Horizon Lanka to have a fully pledged ICT institute once again with your generous support. We still need more PCs, a laptop, computer chairs and a professional digital video camera.

Malitta with Horizon Lanka staff and students
Malitta with Horizon Lanka staff and students
Malitta with students
Malitta with students
Manahara with the staff and students of Horizon Lanka
Manahara with the staff and students of Horizon Lanka