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We are a group of Jordanians helping kids and Syrian refugees in Jordan receive proper education. Ask Us Anything.

Sep 10th 2014 by scienceLeague • 20 Questions • 656 Points

Hi, we are Farah, Hamza, and Shorouq, and in 2011 we started the Scientific Culture Society which provides educational programs to public schools and underprivileged communities. Through our Fun Science Program we've worked with 300 Syrian refugee youth and over 500 public school students so far. Next we're taking this a step further and are about to launch the Science League.

The Science League is a program modeled after the boy scouts, where kids will be required to do science projects in order to earn badges. Through this we give these kids the freedom to explore themselves and work on their projects with their own hands, something not available for kids in Jordan, especially Syrian refugees.

We have already worked with Jordanian kids in the worst schools you could imagine! One time, a school principal refused to open up the school on a Saturday for us to give the kids a workshop, and asked for a bribe! Yes, sometimes, it does get that bad, but we manage.

Similar programs might be available to kids in rich countries, but not in Jordan, and the crises that neighboring countries are going through are not making things any easier.

We have a campaign page on indiegogo for The Science League but regardless we will still continue in our work with children in Jordan. Ask Us Anything!

EDIT: Here is proof. Thanks. Extra proof.

EDIT2: Here are some pictures of us teaching these kids.

EDIT3: Our artwork! http://imgur.com/a/iw0yR

Q:
  1. Do you feel that your program has helped so far?
  2. Does your organization take volunteers or hire American college graduates?

In any case, I think what you're doing is awesome, and I wish you guys the best! Education seems to be one of the most significant dividing factors in socioeconomic progression, and these children deserve a shot to earn a proper education towards a good future in which they can support their families and lead amazing lives that can make a difference in our society!

A:
  1. So far, we feel we have made an impact with all the kids we could reach, but we need to help more in the future.
  2. Our org does offer internships and volunteers in any country if they happen to reside in Jordan atm or can help from outside Jordan. Our first internship student will arrive soon in Jordan from Sweden, so that's a yes.

Thank you so much for your support! Education is usually neglected and people seem to think there are more important things although it is the foundation of good, achieving, human beings!


Q:

No question, just want to applaud your efforts. Well done!

A:

Many thanks <3


Q:

How are you funded , besides the indiegogo campaign?

Keep up the good work :)

A:

Hi!

Usually, some foundations help us get basic funds for one or two workshops, or a series of workshops, such as our last one that was sponsored by UNESCO.

But for the project to be ongoing, we will have fees (which will be considerably cheap) after the first one and a half years (because if we raise all money we need from the campaign, we'll be able to especially help kids who cannot pay fees at all). Also, schools, orgs, and big philanthropists can pay for the fees of students in especially vulnerable areas. Foundations will usually pay all fees for Syrian refugees.

The idea behind the fee is to give the project a sense of formality (so parents won't tell their kids to pass the workshop "because it's free") and maintain money for future projects.


Q:

My wife and I are landing in Amman on the 12th of Oct. Is there any help you might need from two Americans? There or even not being there.

A:

Hello, and we're glad to hear you are coming to visit Amman! What would really help is if you could donate or share the campaign with people who are interested. Just knowing that you support us is enough, and if you'd like, we could meet up with you and have a friendly gathering when you reach Amman.


Q:

Has the kids basic knowledge gone down since the situation escalated?

A:

Yes, many Syrian kids do not go to school anymore or get any proper education. And since the economy of Jordan has hit a wall recently, many schools don't have proper classrooms or resources to teach the children properly, not to mention around 600 students in highschool are illiterate, and turned in their final exam papers empty.

What we noticed really happens, is that the kids have hidden talents. They have great potential, but are rarely ever given the chance to unleash it and do projects themselves outside the boring school curriculum that even misses out on properly teaching evolution to 10th graders.

So the answer would be yes.


Q:

A lot of religious people can't grasp evolution what so ever. It's like a different way for people to think about it with respect to their individual thoughts.

A:

That's one of the problems we will have to struggle with in the program. Evolution is quite necessary for any student to know about, be it school or university students.


Q:

Is there pressure from conservatives there to not teach Evolution, or is it possible to just hand-wave it away as "gods plan" to placate them?

A:

Yes, there is huge pressure from conservatives. But as it is an integral part of science, we will not yield to them. Also, as evolution is so important to uni and school students alike, and most of our volunteers are uni students, we are sure to give them adequate training on how to handle the evolution issue. We plan on taking them to trips to collect fossils as well because we do have rich diversity in Jordan and many personally collectable fossils, as it is part of evolution and biology.


Q:

What is your organizations stand on anti-Semitism?

A:

We do not encourage hate toward other people in any way possible. Only love and fun science!


Q:

Good. I have seen the good work the Boy Scouts of Afghanistan do, and it is nice knowing there are other organizations that have positive, constructive avenues for the youth in the Middle East. I wish you the best of luck.

A:

We appreciate your support. I'm sure there are many other organizations that do their best and spread coexistence, but they need a push forward.


Q:

Good. I have seen the good work the Boy Scouts of Afghanistan do, and it is nice knowing there are other organizations that have positive, constructive avenues for the youth in the Middle East. I wish you the best of luck.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Done.


Q:

You guys are awesome.

A:

Thanks!


Q:

Do you accept applications?

A:

For internships or volunteer work or expert services? And yes, but it depends on where you live and what you are applying for.


Q:

I'm a student at northeastern university, which has been kind of the flagship for "co-operative education" or "co-ops". Co-ops are generally 5-6 month paid internships that are treated in most ways like an entry level position, the caveat being that companies understand their employee will go back to school after the 6 month period is finished.

Northeastern currently has excellent programs in Jordan--I spent two months in Amman last summer, learning Arabic. If your program is getting larger, I urge you to outreach at Northeastern, Drexel and anywhere else with a co-op program; you may be flooded with applications like mine come November.

A:

Wonderful! Thank you for the great info, and I hope you enjoyed your stay in Jordan. .^


Q:

My buddy is studying abroad in Jordan right now. If I gave you his contact info (or gave him yours) do you think you could give him an opportunity to hang out with you guys and maybe help out with your work a little? He is in Amman.

A:

No doubt! You could PM his contact info to us, and we'll invite him over for coffee!


Q:

How can I help?

A:

Hello, SuperNinjaBot! Currently, you can help by donating on our indiegogo or spreading the word with interested friends. If you live in Jordan, you can also help by becoming a volunteer in the near future. Even if you are based outside Jordan and would like to help, you cam PM your contact info to us!


Q:

How can I help?

A:

Oh plus, one of the main reasons for extremism and Jordanian youth joining ISIS, for example, is because no one ever points them toward the right direction. We want to help them graduate school hoping to positively impact society, not run rampage shootings at innocent people.


Q:

Because one day the s**t might hit the fan in your country too, and you'd want people like our excellent "science league" friends looking out for your kids.

Anyway all kids are important. No matter their race, creed or nationality. Thats why evolution made adults, to make sure the kids grow. (Well you get my drift anyway)

A:

Thanks! Are you an actual actual wizard?


Q:

What kind of education do you give them . islamic education or western education ?

A:

LOL, that is by far the funniest question! Neither. We give them scientific education (not sure if that is what you mean by Western). Science knows no religion or ideology. It is simply science.


Q:

I think he is referring to the notion that an education can only be gained in a classroom setting, teaching subjects like English, Math, Science, etc.

There is discussion about whether or not this sort of education is right for the developing world. Maybe the more traditional forms of education in their culture have more to offer realistically rather than an education aimed at training people to join the work force in the developed countries.

That said, I don't think it applies to your situation.

A:

If that is what is meant by the question, then the answer would be that we are not working toward giving the kids science workshops that alienate them from their society, but rather workshops that help them put their knowledge into action and help the Jordanian society get better, as well as helping Syrian refugee children get along with Jordanian kids and blend in, so to enjoy the program as well without having to face discrimination based on religion, gender, or ethnicity.