Xavier, Egyptian high school students collaborate on STEM projects

More than 60 Xavier College Preparatory students are collaborating with students of the Al Farouk School in Cairo, Egypt, to solve real-world biology and physics problems.

The students, who are all young women enrolled in the U.S. equivalent of grades 9-12, communicate primarily through virtual exchange experiences and utilize applications such as Dropbox to share information as they work together on problem-based learning activities, according to a press release.

Part of a new Leadership through Problem-Based Learning initiative created by Arizona State University associate professor of science education, Dr. Peter Rillero, the program teaches students not only to solve complex problems, but to understand the real-life applications of various scientific techniques.

Grant funding from the U.S. Department of State and the Stevens Initiative, specifically aimed at educational exchanges between youth in the United States and youth in the Middle East and North Africa, has made the initiative possible.

During January, three faculty members from the Al Farouk School traveled from Egypt to Arizona to spend several days working with their three Xavier counterparts and observing the Xavier students in their biology and physics classes.

In June, the three Xavier faculty members will travel to Cairo to collaborate with their Al Farouk colleagues and to observe the Egyptian students in their classes, the press release stated.

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