Students at the Kasiisi Primary School in Uganda are taking part in an experiment in education. In the fifth grade classrooms, 155 students start the day by opening up lunchbox-sized green laptops. With these XO computers, The Kasiisi Project has taken a leading role in using technology to teach about the environment. Students can access the internet, take photos, plan projects, and type papers for their classes just like their peers in the developed world. The Environmental Sensing class will teach students at Kasiisi Primary School the skills of real-time measurement and monitoring of their environment using sensors. Although data collection, graphing, mapping, and reports will be done with their specialized laptops, technical portions of the project will use open-source software available for any computer.
Students will bridge the gap between technical and personal perspectives by making a creative community map, and then draw several overlays on tracing paper. These overlays will demonstrate multiple uses of water, causes and effects of pollution, and ways to protect the environment. Producing a paper map will lay the foundation towards composing a digital map which can be shared with classmates, pen pals, and online mapping sites.
The Kasiisi Project has supported education in rural Ugandan schools for 14 years. They have experience with visiting educators, novel educational initiatives, and research projects.