Siriya Boonarak, science teacher at Wat Tong Pu, Lob Buri
Having the necessary materials and equipment for science experiments is essential for teachers to replace rote learning with hands-on, inquiry-based learning. Even though the chemicals are inexpensive, for teachers working in opportunity expansion schools in remote areas like me, they’re really difficult to acquire. I would spend a whole day travelling to Bangkok, just to get the chemicals for my students. That really takes up my teaching time, which I already don’t have enough of. It’s also not feasible to buy these chemicals in bulk as expired chemicals can cause inaccurate results.
Many years ago, needs assessment surveys were conducted to identify the challenges faced by teachers working remote areas. I raised my concerns and asked for science kits. Unfortunately, most of the budget was spent on other school facilities and IT equipment.
After participating in Kenan’s Teacher Professional Development workshop, which was supported by IVL, I received the science kits. When I unpacked them, it was like seeing my dreams as a teacher being fulfilled. I felt really appreciative. I strongly believe that the science kits, which contain test tubes, beakers, alcohol burners and various chemicals, will enable kids to learn through sensory, hands-on experiments: they can touch the actual test tube instead of seeing it on YouTube, they can shake the chemicals, observe the chemical dissolution, and smell when matter undergoes a chemical reaction. This will not only help the kids understand science more deeply; it will also inspire them to pursue science careers in the future.