Updated Apr 09, 2021

Desmond Asamoah

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PEN equips Ghanaian STEM teachers to learn, design, and share hands-on activities which complement the national curriculum and are created from low-cost and locally available materials.

We have designed an MIT-style, constructivist learning experience around each of the activities in the Ghanaian standard syllabus, enabling teachers to form their own understanding while collaboratively designing low-cost hands-on activities to bring into their classrooms.
We have designed an MIT-style, constructivist learning experience around each of the activities in the Ghanaian standard syllabus, enabling teachers to form their own understanding while collaboratively designing low-cost hands-on activities to bring into their classrooms.
SEE LESS
2020
  
STI Forum 2020
  

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

PEN has built a robust teacher training program over the last three years. In that time, we have equipped 100 local-level trainers and built our brand locally. We are now moving our public and private partnerships forward to help scale the program.
Registered in Ghana as Non-Profitin Ghana as Non-Profit

Focus Areas:

Basic Education, Teacher Development and Training, Technology and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Basic Education, Teacher Development and Training, Technology, Youth, Secondary Education, Curriculum, Methods & Learning and Workforce DevelopmentSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Ghana

GhanaSEE LESS

590,000
Lives Impacted to Date
1
Key Partner
1
Country Implemented In
3,475
Customers
10
Employees
$184,439
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding
?

Problem

The Ghanaian education system is inundated with teacher-centered pedagogy. Children use the phrase “chew and pour pass and forget” to describe their unfortunate reality. This challenge is especially pronounced in STEM which has resulted in very low student interest . Surveys we carried out in 2015-6 with 500+ teachers in Ghana’s public basic schools revealed that <10% of their schools contained a single piece of lab equipment and <5% of them had attended relevant in-service training.

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Solution

PEN empowers K­-12 teachers in resource­-constrained environments to engage students in practical education, by offering a series of workshops in which STEM trainers learn, design, and share hands-on activities using low-cost and locally-available materials. We partner with Ghana's Ministry of Education and the Ghana Association of Science Teachers.

Target Beneficiaries

We serve the thousands of teachers in Ghana who do not have training to address the resource constraints they face everyday in their classroom. From our survey results, 80% of teachers state the primary obstacle to doing practical science as being the lack of materials. After our workshops, 70% of teachers indicate a positive perception change in their ability to perform practicals in their classrooms.

Mission and Vision

Mission: Enable every African child to learn by doing Vision: An Africa sustainably transformed by generations of problem-solvers

Competitive Advantage

We offer multiple tiers of training, bringing teachers from exposure to the new style of teaching to effective classroom application to designing new content. The Ghana Education Service endorses and advertises the program to all teachers in the corresponding school district. Repeat customers are migrated to higher levels of training. Strong relationships with the Ministry of Education enable us to infuse our hands-on STEM content and techniques into national standards.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Over the next year, we are looking to scale our Online STEM Teacher Training and our 2-year, 6-stage PEN Teacher Roadmap, which is a holistic program designed to build fully confident, competent practical STEM teachers. It combines training, coaching, and community-building through a web app. We seek to formalize our relationship with various government entities to enable scaling of the intervention.
Funding Goal306,580
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted50,000
New Implemented CountriesLiberia, Sierra Leone
Recruit2 management, 4 full-time staff

The Team Behind the Innovation

Our founder completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where she developed a passion for spreading hands-on education. While at MIT, she co-founded the D-Lab: Education course and mentored dozens of students in community-based engineering projects for rural communities. She has trained thousands of teachers and students in low-cost, hands-on STEM education. The PEN team is a mix of Ghanaians and Americans, all possessing both a STEM background and teaching experience.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Mar 2021
Lives Impacted
40,000
Mar 2020
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Ghana

Supporting Materials

PEN workshop quotes and photos.pdf
20171222-NSRC-Director.PDF