LIG Elementary

The Liberia Institute for Girls - Todee (LIG) project will begin with a K-6 STEM academy, LIG Elementary: An interdisciplinary curriculum focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fundamentals.  

In many ways, the LIG's approach to STEM teaching is informed by the CTQ Collaboratory's unique acronym of STEM, which takes the mystery out of STEM and makes STEM education fun for kids: Science is the study of the natural world; Technology means any product made by man to meet need or want; Engineering refers to the design process kids use to solve problem; and Mathematics is the language of numbers, shapes and quantities.[1] From this vantage point, STEM is much more than a group of subjects; and STEM education goes far beyond preparing students for future jobs. STEM education, especially in the early grades germinates critical thinking skills, evidence-based investigation, reasoning, teamwork and creativity, as the basis for navigating life. It is the blending of STEM subjects across the curriculum.

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Academic goal & objectives

At LIG Elementary classes are conducted both in the classroom and the natural world; in the LIG’s market gardens and along the Du river banks. Our 300-acre rural campus on both side of the river is ideal. LIG students will see themselves as scientists because they are investigating the natural world; as technologists because they will be building stuffs; as engineers because they are problem-solvers; and as mathematicians because they can count. This is STEM fundamentals at LIG Elementary!

Goal: The LIG academic program equips students with a challenging integrated curriculum focused on STEM; instilling evidence-based thinking, reasoning, teamwork and creative skills that students can utilize in their daily lives.

Objectives

1.       Lessons focused on real-world problem-solving and seek practical solutions;

2.       Informed and guided by the engineering design process;

3.       Immerse students in hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration;

4.       Involve students in productive teamwork;

5.       Integrate rigorous math and science content;

6.       Manipulate variables to provide insight into cause and effect.


Technology goal and objectives

Technology is the thread that links STEM subjects. The only question for the LIG is how much technology it can afford during the early phrase of the project? Notwithstanding, we intend to at least provide the basics, including a computer lap with internet service.

Goal: The LIG technology will assist students build skills that enable them to transfer technology knowledge from the known to the unknown; providing opportunity for students to participate in exploration, collect information to solve problems, conduct scientific investigation, create designs, discover new worlds and appreciate STEM.

Objectives:

1.       Support curriculum; encourage innovation and creativity

2.       Introduce students to and provide access to an increasing digital world

3.       Empower students to be successful in their education journey

4.       Assist students to conduct research and become proficient digital citizens

5.       Extend learning beyond the classroom walls and the LIG campus

6.       Enable supplemental instruction and learning across the curriculum

7.       Demonstrate age-appropriate keyboard speed and accuracy

8.       Demonstrate ability to solve common tech problems

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Health & Fitness goal and objectives

Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers (3 John 2).  As James Kerkula noted in his Still Running book, “…health is everything. Your dream depends on it, your achievement depend on it… Health is a pivotal cornerstone for your existence, the fundamental foundation for personal resilience.”[2] Hence, an indispensable foundation of LIG’s education is cultivating a habit and culture of good health: Nutritious food for all kids regardless of ability to pay, basic healthcare supervised by a certified campus nurse or nurse practitioner, and regular physical exercise.

Goal: The LIG's health and sports program aimed at optimizing physical health, raising spirits and self-esteem, improving academic performance and inspiring lifelong habits of healthy living. Exercise will be promoted as any regular physical routine that students can enjoy doing within the confines of the LIG campus or under adult supervision.

While it would be ideal to have a gymnasium on campus from the get-go, in practical terms, this may not be possible during the beginning phase of the project. Nonetheless, the LIG will provide opportunities for conventional sports such as soccer, softball, cross-country running and hiking, activities that require minimum infrastructure investment and could rapidly be rolled out. As early as possible, the LIG will incorporate an in-school health clinic with a nurse who may also be a teaching staff. As the LIG builds capacity, we intend to develop a community-based health facility, which serves students, LIG’s personnel and the local population.

Objectives:

1.      Provide consistent exercise routine that boosts immunity and overall health;

2.      Promote discipline and time management necessary for academic achievement;

3.      Foster teamwork as foundation for emotional and social intelligence; and

4.      Keep students physically and emotional healthy.

[1] https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/06/17/ctq_jolly_stem.html

[2] James Kerkula, Still Running – (Bloomington, IN: Westbow Press), p. 117