Combined efforts to protect the environment with things mathematics and the outcome could be some innovative ways of helping to save our earth. In fact, this was the very outcome that was envisioned when Mr. Peter Wintz and Dr. Peter Joong of the University of Guyana, put their heads together to spearhead a project under the University of Guyana Science and Technology Support Project (UGSTSP) titled ‘The integration of environmental education in the mathematics curriculum’.
With support from three research assistants, Shevone Sutton, Jeffrey Patterson and Quacy Welcome, the project has already been able to yield some very exciting results.
And this was evident when an Environmental Education Fair was held at the Turkeyen Campus’ George Walcott Lecture Theatre on Wednesday.
The event convened by the research group was held under the theme: “Saving our environment” and saw the participation of 12 schools – six secondary schools and six primary schools.
The participating schools were Bygeval Secondary, Houston Secondary, Hope Secondary, La Bonne Intention Secondary, St. Stanislaus College, Christ Church Secondary, Enterprise Primary, Graham’s Hall Primary, North Georgetown Primary, Paradise Primary, Peter’s Hall Primary and St. Margaret’s Primary.
But hosting the fair was not done overnight. It came after months of preparation. According to Research Assistant, Shevon Sutton since the aim of the project is to integrate environmental education into the Mathematics curriculum, efforts had to be directed at working closely with the participating schools.
This meant that the research team had to not only observe lessons that were taught in the schools, but it had to train teachers in order to realise the desired outcomes. “The teachers who had to be a part of the project were at a workshop during the (August) holiday at UG and we had to give them guidelines…they were trained to integrate environmental education into the Mathematics curriculum…the same curriculum from the Ministry of Education,” said Sutton. She said that teachers were trained to write their notes of lessons to reflect the outcome that was being sought by the research team.
It was to showcase that the project thus far has been successful.
At the fair, students and pupils of the participating schools were allowed to model fashionable pieces, some of which were made of plastic and even paper. These were created with the aim of helping to protect the environment. Some of the exhibits included art work and craft pieces among other colourful and intriguing items, all of which were on display on Wednesday.
‘The integration of environmental education in the Mathematics curriculum project was among nine that were awarded research grants in July of this year. The grants fall under a US$10 million loan from the World Bank to the Government of Guyana that is being executed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the University of Guyana.
The recently awarded research grants valued at US$248,522 (G$49,704,400) were awarded to academic staffers of the University and are expected to facilitate research in low carbon development-related areas.