During her recent trip to Rwanda, Professor Linda Beardsley sat down with Leslie Isaro, a recent graduate of Maranyundo Girls School. Leslie spoke about the opening of the makerspace at her alma mater, when she was beginning her Senior 2 studies in March 2018. Leslie believes that the makerspace had a transformational effect on her education. Leslie recalls how she had been struggling in her studies. She didn’t like science. Working in the makerspace, she saw how science could be applied to solving interesting challenges. Suddenly, she understood the importance and possibilities of STEM. “This is why I’m studying math and physics….” she says, “to use it to do amazing things.”
Professor Beardsley also caught up with teacher Robert Sande, who spent six weeks at Tufts as a Teacher Fellow in STEM Education in 2011. Robert spoke about the influence that his time at Tufts has had on his career. Robert attended courses in the Education Department, worked alongside other students in the CEEO, and visited several schools in the Tufts Community to see Playful Engineering Based Learning happening in classrooms from PreK through high school. Robert has built on the knowledge he gained at Tufts over his years as an educator in Rwanda. Now he generously shares that knowledge with the PEBL teachers throughout Rwanda by playing a leadership role in the Novel Engineering teacher training held at the Maranyundo Girls School Learning Hub in December.