The Pangaea Theory states that all present continents were once together and collectively known as a ‘supercontinent’ called a Pangaea. The word ‘Pangaea’ is derived from Ancient Greek, pan meaning entire and Gaea meaning earth. Our Pangaea Project is designed to bring students of the world closer together through education, interaction, and shared experiences.
Examples of Our Work
In 2008, we began the Pangaea Project, connecting students in the US with students in Africa. The first connections were classroom exchanges with teachers in the US teaching their class and broadcasting it via the web to classes in Africa. The subjects were composting, nutrition, crop rotation, music, health, folklore, and poetry. After the lesson the children would connect and share experiences. As the project evolved the students took the lead. Students formed active groups and found faculty sponsors. They requested information on the needs of the orphans in Africa and began to develop their own ideas to help the orphans. They also took it upon themselves to raise money and provide materials.
The original group of US students was astonished to learn that a classroom of 100 students in Africa shared just one pencil and that they made soccer balls by weaving old plastic bags and trash. Via the web, the orphans in Africa taught the students in US how to make the trash bag soccer balls. The US students began a fund drive for gently used educational materials, sports equipment, and new pencils. They continue to send materials every year.
African students are not allowed to attend school if they do not have a uniform. The students in Marshfield, MA raised $600 for Generis International to bring to Africa. The money was used to buy sewing machines for women caring for orphans and buy material to make the uniforms. The result was 120 orphans had new school uniforms and were able to go to school and 4 women who were given sewing machines were able to start a small business and help support the orphans in their care. We continue to expand this program.
We received scientific textbooks donated from a school in Norwell, MA. In the Malimbe Village School in Malawi, we set up a science lab with the textbooks, a microscope, slides, and charts. The school has documented over 5000 students from surrounding villages have visited to use the science lab.
Students at a private school in Kingston, MA saw children in Africa attending class outside. They raised $5200 to purchase building materials and local labor in Africa. The school building was built and dedicated to them by the community. The US students then collecting gently used school uniforms to send to Africa so more orphans can attend the school.
Students at a middle school in Kingston, MA were concerned with nutrition for the orphans. They raised $200 to purchase livestock for the Malimbe School and the 4-H Club provided curriculum for animal husbandry. The school now teaches animal husbandry as a vocation to the students and use proceeds from the sale of livestock to feed the students. We have given the 4-H curriculum to other schools and continue to expand the program.
Since 2010 an elementary school Chess Club in Montana has been donating chessboards and teaching chess to African students via the web. The students at several schools in Africa have formed their own chess clubs and have tournament play.