Nigeria's Ondo State Hosts Third GLOBE Workshop
The third GLOBE workshop in Nigeria took place on 17-20 December 2007 at the Sunshine State e-Technology Center in Akure, Ondo State. This training was the second in a series of professional development events convened to certify at least two GLOBE teachers at each of Ondo State's 250 secondary schools and provide them with a complete set of equipment to measure GPS, atmosphere, soil, hydrology and land cover protocols in support of the regions student research activities. The Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency Dr. Olusegun Agagu, has sponsored this long-term initiative which includes a sustained professional development program for teachers. The goal of this initiative is to inspire future generations of scientists by providing opportunities for students in mathematics, science and technology. This GLOBE Nigeria opportunity would not have become a reality with out the dedication of Dr. Raifu Durodoye, Professor of Mathematics at North Lake College in Texas, USA. "Duro," as he is affectionately known by his friends and family, established a partnership with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) to ensure program sustainability, secured over 100 GLOBE school kits, coordinated the professional development activities, and brought together GLOBE Master Trainers from Nigeria, Cameroon, and the United States to lead the effort.
Thirty-five secondary teachers from twenty-three schools were certified in GLOBE protocols, and four university professors earned their GLOBE Trainer certification. Ondo State provided each school and FUTA with a GLOBE instrument kit which included all equipment needed to measure location (GPS and compass), air, water and soil temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, water conductivity, pH, transparency, dissolved oxygen, soil chemistry (N,P, K), soil bulk density, soil profiles and land-cover sample sites.
The FUTA professors have agreed to train additional Ondo teachers and to assist schools without Internet access by uploading their data. Additionally, these teachers, as well as future meteorology Ph.D. candidates, will work closely with other GLOBE schools in Nigeria, to become the largest and most coordinated environmental monitoring system in the region. "Throughout our combined experiences, which include over 50 years of teacher professional development in a half dozen countries, we [the GLOBE training team and organizers of the event] have never seen such strong support from the state government and a University as you have in Ondo State," stated Todd Ensign (West Virginia, USA), speaking to the governor at his residence in Akure. "It is clear that Ondo State is making a long-term commitment to improving the scientific and technological literacy of Nigerian school students."
The trainers maximized the training time by guiding the 35 new teachers through hands-on learning activities designed to promote inquiry applications of GLOBE and use of their new GLOBE equipment while the FUTA professors focused their efforts on developing training and implementation strategies for future workshops. The international training team consisted of GLOBE trainers Mr. George Nditifon from Cameroon and three trainers from West Virginia, USA, including Mr. Todd Ensign, Dr. Deb Hemler, and Mrs. Tiffany Litton. Although the team members came from many areas, they all shared a common enthusiasm for GLOBE in Nigeria.
09 February 2008