Stem Guyana today (Monday February 27, 2017) introduced their National Grade Six Assessment Math Application. The application is geared at improving the way students at the Primary level learn and prepare for the National Grade Six Assessment.
Speaking at the launch, Co-Founder, Karen Abrams said the idea for the came about as a result of a need that was identified and the end product was made possible through collaboration including the Ministry of the Presidency, the First Lady’s office, NCERD and private individuals.
The coding for the app was done by one of Ms Abrams daughters which helped to minimize costs while the answers were provided by two local teachers and a resident of Serbia with a PhD in Math.
“We wanted to be sure about the credibility of the product. We want when the kids use it and they choose and it says the answer is right or the answer is wrong that we have consistency there and that the kids can depend on the results” she said.
The app also includes explanation videos for each question and it is hoped that as the response grows to the software that secondary level students would play a part in the explanation videos.
In addition this teaching aspect, there will be a market place, where parents and users can sell or find school related materials or items and a calendar where users can share their schools’ activities. There is also a feedback section that will give recognition to teachers’ whose students utilize the app.
According Abrams, “we want to know who are the teachers that are doing an excellent job and we want to highlight what they are doing an excellent job and we want to highlight what they are doing, we want to encourage them and we want to make them models for the other teachers to improve.”
Phase One or the pre-test phase the app was rolled out in several regions among 75 students who responded the Facebook advertisement to test it. Students were required to identify their school and for each right answer provided they received two points.
In Phase Two once the financing is available the plan is to buy 100 tablets that will be distributed over a 14 month period among Grade Six students at under-performing schools for testing, monitoring and evaluation of these students. During this phase, if further tweaks are needed it will be done as Ms Abrams says they are in “no way under the illusion that the system is perfect”.
Once this is complete, in Phase Three, it hoped that the app would be rolled out to Grade Six Students across the country. This is the big dream, the Stem Co-Founder says as it includes getting these children not only tablets but wifi access.
In Phase Four, Stem Guyana plans to roll out the project to the rest of the Caribbean.
The app named the NGSA Practice Exams is free and is available for download on the Android platform and can be accessed on phone, tablet and web.
Also present for the launch was patron of the STEM Guyana Project, First Lady Mrs Sandra Granger.