The Jomo Kenyatta University Geophysical Society (JKUGS) carried out a twin outreach programme at Carmel Girls High School and Mbiuni High School in Machakos County, Kenya; this follows another visit to Kiaria Mixed Secondary School in Kiambu County on March 30th, 2016. High schools being the main feeder institutions to universities and colleges in Kenya the society aimed at creating awareness on geosciences to the young minds early enough to enable them have wide range of career choices. Equally, the programme targets at bridging the gap between the university and high school students in order to create platform for interaction with regard to opportunities in geoscience disciplines; an important aspect in career development.
The broader aspect
Recent discovery of natural resources such hydrocarbon and groundwater in Turkana, rare earth metals in Kwale, and continued discovery of geothermal sites capable of power production in our country has created a need for human resource capacity building necessary for exploiting and managing the newly found resources.
Our country has insufficient human resource to harness the available subsurface resources causing a need to sensitize high school students early enough to expand the view of geosciences as alternative choices as fields of studies in University and college education.
Specifically, the choice of the two schools in Machakos County was influenced by the County’s need of additional water resources. A long term solution of nurturing and training specialists in groundwater exploration and management is necessary. In this regard, the works of Society of Exploration Geophysicists and that of our chapter was promoted beyond the confines of the university.
In situ benefits
About forty fourth form students from Carmel Girls and approximately 17 students from Mbiuni Mixed School are registered for both Geography and Physics subjects.
This placed the students taking the two subjects in a better position to fully benefit from the lectures on geosciences and S.E.G, generally, all students in attendance had the privilege of getting advice from the visiting team on study skills and success tips, this was echoed by the words of Mr. Muriithi Anderson, geography teacher at Carmel Girls School, who testified to us that, “my students are so motivated and they have requested for the presentation slides”, after interacting with his students.
A statement from physics teacher Mbiuni Mixed saying, “this forums are what the students need because many a times they suffer as a result of ignorance”, equally displayed the immediate fruits of the visit. The students were exposed to little known SEG Scholarships and several students’ awards by a presentation given by Mr Stephen Mwoni and this attracted interests. The students were able to ask all the questions they could have during the interactive session which lasted for more than an hour. The society through the patron Dr. Korowe gave a number of study books to the schools that were a real boost to their revision in mathematics and physics. Much is still needed towards the same.
The Propelling Team
A number of forces enable the society carry out such activities that directly benefit the community as well as the participants. Principal is the self-drive within members towards giving back to the community as well as the quest of participation in solution finding for today’s life challenges related to academics. The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology that has enabled the society to run its errands smoothly, Society of Exploration Geophysicists that provides financial strengths needed by the society and for student trainings, department of physics staff (JKUAT) from which the patron Dr Korowe comes and cooperative target institution managers.
Reported by Mr. Evans Odero.