MKMF Week in Review: December 3-7, 2012

Posted on: December 8th, 2012

Library Activities

Library Baraza activities continued during the school break on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We had to relocate to Kaaga Methodist Church (youth building) because of the strict guidelines of who can be on school property during national exams.

Tuesday we’ve been doing reading and math club activities.  Sandi read stories, and students took turns making paper bag “puppets” and acting out the characters.  Jack and the Beanstalk and Puss in Boots were big hits.  After some fun games outside, we came back in for Dale to lead a geometry project.  The students assembled 3-dimensional shapes with toothpicks and raisins.  Several got very creative!


Dale showing the students how to make a tetrahedron.



Students proudly showing off their creations


Thursday, Sandi led science activities focused on electricity and magnetism.  After a brief overview of some principles like magnetic north and polarity, we visualized a magnetic field with iron filings and a compass, and did several hands-on activities including learning how to measure voltage with a digital multimeter, induction, an electromagnet, magnetizing/de-magnetizing a screwdriver, and creating a a simple homopolar motor.  This seemed to be the most popular science activity yet, especially for the girls.  For the most interested students, Sandi explained some more advanced facts about earth’s magnetic field and even magnetism’s role in planetary atmospheres (cool stuff!).


right-hand rule

Sandi demonstrating the right-hand rule to predict the direction of rotation for the simple motor.  Several of the younger students really grasped it well, and the upper-level students got a good review!


homopolar motor

Having fun with a homopolar motor. It’s just a D-cell battery with a rare earth magnet attached on the base. Copper wire is bent so it just touches the dimple in the top then runs parallel to the sides, and finally barely touches the magnet on either side. When it’s shaped just right (to minimize friction), the copper wire will rotate on its own.


magnetism experiment

One of our girls that has come every day is generating an electrical charge by passing a magnet through copper coils (induction). She’s watching the readout on the multimeter as she does it.


Other Activities

Dale made one final pre-test visit early Tuesday morning at the request of the Class 8 students.  He got them all fired up and gave them high-fives.  Everyone was in good spirits and looked ready to conquer their math test!  (We later saw many of these students on Friday, and they said they felt good about how they did.)

We visited with Makena Textiles on Tuesday and Thursday to continue the computer training.  The ladies have been progressing well, and we decided to trim back our visits to only once a week, with homework assignments in between.

Sandi visited the hospital on Friday to check up on the nutrition program.  The intern we are working with has been fantastic about completing the new forms, which she picks up every Friday.  So far we have complete data on 6 patients that will be crucial as we build on the work Gwen Kidera started last fall to determine local factors in malnutrition, and identify the ways to best combat it before patients arrive at the hospital.


1 Comment

  • Mattie Tolley says:

    Looking forward to hearing the results of the nutrition study and to what you develop to help prevent it as that can be a real community based self sustainable development project. All of us associated with MKMF understand that the “final solutions” must come from and through the people themselves, and that the great volunteers like Dale and Sandi are the catalysts.

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