Kalabahi, Alor – Back to carrying out STEM training for teachers, this time SEAMEO QITEP in Science (SEAQIS) raised the theme of STEM based on local contexts in border areas. Alor Regency in the Province of East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia and bordering with Timor Leste became the first area to implement the programme. Unlike the previous STEM training, this training invites elements of the village government in the hope that the school and the community can develop and process the potential of Natural Resources around the school. STEM learning delivered by the teacher to students becomes the basic science in processing natural resources and then it is disseminated to the community so that the processing of natural resources can be done on a large scale.
This training is In-Service 1 and the first step in the local context-based STEM programme in the border area. The meaning of local context is to process natural resources in Alor Regency, in this case, candlenut seeds. Candlenut seeds were chosen because they are one of the biggest commodities in all villages in Alor Regency. The problems arose were people still sold the whole candlenut seeds, even the shells were not peeled. Some of the candlenuts have been opened but then the shells became just waste, peeled candlenut seeds were sold directly. That condition is the basis for SEAQIS to develop STEM learning specifically for Alor Regency so that teachers and students can help to solve the problem of candlenut shells and process candlenut into other products of higher selling values.
SEAQIS facilitators in this training were Dr Indrawati, Director of SEAQIS, Dr Elly Herliani, Mr Septian Karyana, Ms Lintang Ratri Prastika, and Mr Gunawan Muhammad. The participants were 35 elementary, junior high, high school teachers from various villages in Alor Regency and 5 village leaders. Held from Monday, October 21, 2019 until Friday, October 25, 2019 in the Alor Regency Education Hall. The training was opened by the Head of Teacher and Education Personnel Division of the Alor Regency Education Office.
At this initial stage, the teachers received a deepening of science material related to biodiversity in Alor District and anything that had the prospect of being processed and then sold. It was followed by macromolecule material to be able to analyze the chemical content of candlenut, then the material characteristics of substances to be able to apply physics concepts in candlenut processing and analyze physical properties to determine the quality of candlenut processed products. In this training, the processed candlenut were intended for making charcoal and candlenut oil.
After getting a deepening of natural science material, the participants were then given information about STEM learning and its characteristics. The experience of applying the engineering design process as a STEM characteristic was obtained by participants through a propeller experiment. Furthermore, the participants did the practice of processing candlenut shell waste into charcoal and candlenut seeds into candlenut oil.
At the final session, the participants were asked to develop STEM learning which would be applied in their schools and focused on candlenut processing. Based on the results of the discussion and guidance by the facilitators, all teachers agreed to carry out STEM projects as the extracurricular activity.
The training was closed on Friday, 25 October 2019 by the Secretary of the Alor Regency Education Office.