We were proud to support once again the Extreme Science public show in May, 2019.  By sponsoring this event, the funds will be going to the Science for All Project, and specifically ran a science competition event, bottle rockets, at schools in Nanaimo and in Malawi, Africa. The goal is to get students excited and interested in pursuing careers in science and engineering.

In addition to the events to be run in Malawi, it is also planned to run a bottle rocket competition for the grade 8’s at the 6 secondary schools in the Nanaimo school district this spring. The sponsor money will be split equally between the competitions at the Malawian schools and the competitions at the Nanaimo schools.

LED Africa is a non-profit charitable organization started in 2009 whose goal is to support education in Africa by providing solar powered lighting systems to rural schools and by promoting science education.

The initial Solar Lighting project ran from 2009 to 2018 and involved providing solar powered lighting systems to 21 rural secondary schools in Malawi. These lighting systems allowed the students at the schools to study in the evening. Donations allowed LED Africa to install and maintain these lighting systems over the 10 years.

In 2013 LED Africa started its Science For All project which initially provided our partner secondary schools with math and science textbooks, as well as basic science demonstration equipment. In 2018, LED Africa as part of this project produced a science demonstration manual for teachers which was distributed to schools around the country and concurrently ran a series of workshops for science teachers.

In 2019 LED Africa began to promote science directly to the students by running a series of bottle rocket competitions at schools in Malawi. This was highly successful and will be the major focus of the charity for the foreseeable future.

The LED Africa charity ran such an event at 12 schools in Malawi in 2019. In addition we also ran the event at Dover Bay in June, 2019. It was very successful as the Malawian students have not had the opportunity over the years to participate in any hands-on activities. Photos from the schools are available on the website www.ledafrica.org and on the Facebook page “Science for All” (the video from the all-girls Islamic school is my favourite). I am planning to run more such events in Malawi in 2020 in addition to including a bridge building competition.

– JRay Penner, President | LED Africa

The president, Ray Penner, is a member of the science faculty at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Ray has lived and taught at both secondary schools and universities in Africa. His experience has shown him the great potential that Africa has and that the key to unlocking this potential is education.

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