After exploring different candidates to collaborate and partner with, Curriculum Specialist and English teacher Lindsey Cullins helped develop the relationship between ESD and its sister school Africa Mainsprings campus, the Tanzania organization providing refuge and education for children.
Since the sister school teaches in English, teachers can directly communicate, plan activities and build curriculums overseas. Recently, middle school students sent the school Lego robots with Lego accessories to build their own project and compete in Lego league.
“The robotics program that they have in Tanzania now is kind of one of their signature programs, one of the only programs like it in Tanzania,” Cullins said. “Now that the kids are really getting more into robotics, they’re developing a coding curriculum that our teachers are helping with.”
The schools will be matching teachers who are willing to collaborate further, which mostly were history and geography teachers. The collaboration is still developing as Tanzania has a particular curriculum required by the government to cover certain topics.
“We’re talking about sharing perspectives, especially historical perspectives,” Cullins said. “It’s just evolved naturally based on our needs and goals and their needs and goals meeting together.”
History teacher Marc Salz is volunteering to collaborate with the sister school this year and is looking forward to sharing documents to study decolonization and historiography. Salz’s desire to work with the students grew from the fact that he went to Tanzania four years ago with a group of teachers.
“They have so much to teach us about how to teach and learn with a different set of resources,” Salz said. “I know that these are students that have the same level of commitment to excellence as ESD students, although in a lot of cases they won’t have the opportunity. They’re getting an education that could go on to college, but even if they go on to college, there aren’t quite as many economic opportunities in Tanzania as there are in the United States.”