• About Us

    Hands-on, Minds-up

    The Problem

    "Around 250 million children are not learning basic skills, even though half of them have spent at least four years in school… Investing in teachers is key: in around a third of countries, less than 75% of primary school teachers are trained according to national standards."

    - UNESCO Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

     

    “Among grade 6 students in West and Central Africa in 2014, less than 45 percent reached the “sufficient” competency level for continuing studies in reading or mathematics—for example, the rest could not answer a math problem that required them to divide 130 by 26.”​

    - World Bank World Development Report 2018

    Our Solution

    The Practical Education Network (PEN) improves learning outcomes by building teacher capacity. The teacher training program PEN provides is infused with MIT-style, learning-by-doing to enable hands-on science regardless of resource constraints. PEN offers a series of workshops where West African STEM teachers learn, design, and share hands-on activities which complement the national curriculum and are created from low-cost and locally available materials.

  • Photos & Videos

    Joy News interview with Kojo Yankson on the PEN Impact Research.

     

  • In our workshops, we utilize local materials and content aligned to the national curriculum to holistically equip STEM teachers to facilitate hands-on, inquiry-based lessons.

    Hands-on Training Workshops
    PEN video
    Introduction to Hands-on Science workshops
  • APPROACH

    We host teacher training workshops to explore hands-on STEM activities that use low-cost, locally available materials.

    Practical Education Network Introduction to Hands-on Science Workshop in Ga Central, Greater Accra, Ghana

    A lack in material resources often leave teachers feeling limited to using traditional approaches. PEN empowers teachers around the world to engage their students in hands-on science projects. We train teachers in executing these activities within the structure of traditional education programs.

     

    Our material blends constructivist learning with design training to allow participants to discover key concepts and harness them to engage in projects relevant to their daily lives.

    PEN's Introduction to Hands-on Science Workshop in Ashaiman District, Greater Accra, Ghana

     

     

    PEN has a special emphasis on the challenges of STEM education in the developing world – large class sizes, scarce material resources, and the novelty of interactive pedagogies.

     

    We employ a teach-the-teachers business model, leveraging our partners' networks to reach scale.

     

    Since 2014, we have been running workshops around Ghana with our local partners.We have been growing in numbers and reach each year!

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  • CORE TEAM

    Heather Beem

    CEO & Founder

    Heather completed her PhD at MIT in Mechanical Engineering, where she co-founded MIT's D-Lab: Education class. She also teaches engineering at Ashesi University.

    Joseph Quaye Amoo

    Programmes Manager

    Quaye has a BA in Communications Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. He is a passionate child, youth and women's development activist. He leads the team to design and implement training programmes for STEM teachers.

    Margaret Dzakpasu

    Finance & Admin. Manager

    Margaret holds an MBA in Finance from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), and a Bachelor's Degree in Education (B.Ed. Social Sciences) from University of Cape Coast. In the past, Margaret has had extensive experience working on USAID projects, from January 2003 to February 2018.

    Emelia Benedicta Mensah

    Partnerships & Resource Mobilisation Manager

    Emelia holds an MBA in International Trade from the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. She has a vast experience in Business Development and Customer Relations. She is leading PEN's drive to build partnerships with education stakeholders and mobilise resources to scale up PEN's impact.

    Fredrick Opoku

    Logistics Officer

    Fredrick manages PEN's logistics to ensure the smooth running of all operations. He is a Marine Science grad from University of Ghana.

    Mawuena Asem Hanson

    Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer

    Mawuena monitors and evaluates all projects and interventions at PEN. Mawuena holds a masters degree in Global Health from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and a BSc in Nutrition and Food Science from University of Ghana, Legon.

    Leonard Asare

    Curriculum and Training Officer

    Leonard holds an MPhil in Molecular Cell Biology and a BSc in Biochemistry, both from University of Ghana.
    He has had significant experience in teaching Science in the GES and Cambridge systems. Leonard is very enthusiastic about STEM education and research at all levels

    Daniel Edem Abba

    Multimedia Officer

    Daniel is a documentary film producer and travel photographer with over a decade of experience producing impact stories across 7 African countries. Trained as a TV producer at The National Film and Television Institute in Ghana. He is developing audiovisual elements to project PENs mission.

    Divine Adongo

    Communications & Marketing Officer

    Divine is a passionate communications professional. He is currently pursuing a BA in Communications Studies at the Ghana Institute of Journalism and holds a Higher National Diploma in Media and Communications Studies from Tamale Technical University. He joins PEN as a Communications and Marketing Officer to help promote STEM education in West Africa.

    Amos Quarshie Ahiaku

    Advocacy Officer

    Amos leads the advocacy activities of PEN. He has an appreciable experience in the delivery of Education in Ghana. Amos completed an MRPP (Master of Research and Public Policy, awaiting certificate) programme at University of Ghana. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Education (B.ed Arts) from the University of Cape Coast and Teachers' Certificate 'A' from St. Francis College of Education, Hohoe.

  • INTERNS & VOLUNTEERS

    Issifu Alhassan

    Content Developer

    Issifu is a Computer Engineering graduate from Ashesi University. With his experience with Mathematics both as a teacher and a student, he is leading a team to develop and test content for PEN's math manual.

    Evans Sackitey

    Content Developer

    Evans is a graduate of KNUST with a BSc. in Materials. Engineering. His primary goal at PEN is to work on the PEN'S hands-on Mathematics and Science teacher resource manual, in accordance with to the GES school curriculum.

    Rosemary Dziko

    Content Developer

    Rosemary had her diploma at Jackson Collage of Education where she studied General education. She is currently interning with PEN as an assistant content developer to analyse and resolve problems as

    well as to build a profession that will offer endless opportunities to others.

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    Benjamin Gomado

    Content Developer

    Benjamin is recent graduate of Ashesi University with a BSc.

    Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He is currently working with PEN to develop the Math content of PEN's STEM curriculum.

    Jadis Azade Aganda

    Content Developer

    Jadis is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has demonstrated interest in working with young people and is currently working with students to test and develop PEN's math content curriculum.

  • Master Trainers

    Emmanuel Ocquaye

    District Science Coordinator, Ga East District

    Emmanuel is an enthusiastic practical teacher and commands a refined skill in guiding teachers through practical activities. He also serves as National Secretary for GAST.

    Saddik Mohammed

    District Science Coordinator, Weija-Gbawe District

    Saddik is the Chair of Curriculum for GAST, and he was previously awarded Best Science Teacher in Greater Accra Region. He brings a wealth of teacher training experience.

    Dr. Thomas Tagoe

    Lecturer, University of Ghana

    PhD (Neuroscience)

    Thomas completed his PhD in Neuroscience and is a passionate STEM advocate, having co-founded GhScientific.

    Selase Dorledzi

    Teacher, Zenu KKMA JHS Ashaiman

    Selase was one of the first batch of teachers PEN trained, and she has since skyrocketed into a star practical science teacher.

    Rejoyce Akoto

    Teacher, Asofan M/A 1 JHS

    Rejoyce trains and encourage teacher colleagues in her circuit on hands-on science methods through the accessibility and affordability of local materials.

     

     

    Simon Dzamenu

    Teacher, Kofi Kwei M/A Basic School

    Simon's motivation in training teachers on hands-on science practicals has been the rate of change in pupils' understanding through practical activities.

     

  • BOARD OF DIRECTORS

    Dr. Gordon Adomdza

    Associate Professor,

    Ashesi University

    Dr Adomdza is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ashesi University and has spearheaded a design thinking movement in Ghana. He leads PEN in testing business models and developing organizational growth strategies.

    Dr. Heather Beem

    CEO & Founder

    Heather completed her PhD at MIT in Mechanical Engineering, where she co-founded MIT's D-Lab: Education class. She also teaches engineering at Ashesi University.

    Saddik Mohammed

    District Science Coordinator, Weija-Gbawe District

    Saddik is the Chair of Curriculum for GAST, and he was previously awarded Best Science Teacher in Greater Accra Region. He brings a wealth of teacher training experience.

  • MENTORS

    Lucy Quist

    Business Leader, STEM Advocate

    Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann

    Associate Professor,

    University of Ghana &

    NSMQ Quiz Mistress

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