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Teacher Workshop in Niger Introduces GLOBE Classroom Guide Developed for West Africa

GLOBE trainers and Peace Corps Volunteers recently released the first edition of a classroom guide developed specifically for use by teachers and students in Niger and West Africa at a teacher workshop in August 2007, in Niamey, Niger.

The GLOBE Niger Classroom Guide is an environmental education teaching manual containing step-by-step lesson plans, currently focused on GLOBE investigations of Atmosphere, Soil and Land Cover. The guide is designed to meet the needs of teachers whose primary content area is other than science, and who have asked for a more structured approach to implementing GLOBE in their classrooms. Its content is aimed toward a 5th-8th grade audience, though some of the more technical experiments are appropriate for high school students. Complete versions of the documents are available in both the French and English languages and can be downloaded on the GLOBE Web site.

A total of 17 schools and 29 participants attended the five day workshop, expanding the GLOBE program to 12 new schools. The focus of the workshop was on active learning activities, and engaged the teacher participants in conducting experiments and activities from their new GLOBE Niger Classroom Guide. In support of GLOBE's focus on student research, participants were also provided with instruction on using the lessons as a gateway to stimulate the development of projects related to resource use, local environmental issues and health. Teachers were given the opportunity to test an inquiry-based, active learning approach while reinforcing their understanding of the new science content through teaching each other. At the end of the event, GLOBE Niger distributed copies of the GLOBE Niger Classroom Guide to each of the Nigerien teachers and Peace Corps Volunteers for use in their respective schools and villages.

16 Nigerien teachers and 12 Peace Corps volunteers were trained on the GLOBE environmental science curriculum and improved teaching techniques.

In Niger, Peace Corps volunteers Christine Hurley Brinker and Geoffrey Brinker play an integral role in the management and operation of the GLOBE program, working closely with the Country Coordinator, Madame Djibrillou Safia Moustapha, from the Ministry of Education. The creation and implementation of the GLOBE Niger Classroom Guide is particularly noteworthy since Niger has been a GLOBE country for just over two years. The development of this substantial teaching tool shows that exemplary materials can be created through active collaboration, as demonstrated by the GLOBE Niger-Peace Corps partnership.

GLOBE would like to thank the following people for their participation and support of the Niger training and adaptation of the Teacher's Guide: Madame Djibrillou Safia Moustapha, Ministry of Education and GLOBE Niger Country Coordinator, Laouali Ibrahim, Gaston Kaba, Christopher Burns, Geoffrey Brinker and Christine Hurley Brinker. Special recognition is given to Rotary International, who granted the funds that made the development of the GLOBE Niger Classroom Guide and the GLOBE Teacher Workshop possible.

Congratulations and thank you to all for your accomplishments in establishing and developing the GLOBE Program in Niger!

19 October 2007