The EXPLORE Café is an acronym for ‘Experiential Playful Learning Opportunities and Reality’. It is an out-of-class experience of concepts learnt in class and their application real life situation as a game or play and for fun. The EXPLORE Café session has five main components: demonstrate understanding of concepts learnt in class or learn, use the concepts to explain a phenomenon/real life situation or experience, identify a problem that can be solve using the learnt concepts or reality, explore new approaches to applying the concepts or opportunities and doing it with your peers or playful.
Being a game like football, teams of students will contest against each other and time to solve STEM puzzles. In the EXPLORE Café Sessions teams of 3 to 5 students work together to carried out well designed tasks or challenges based on concepts learnt in class and life experiences. Designed like a typical Café with clients and waiters, the sessions will involves activities served to the groups and snacks provided as complimentary. Solutions to these tasks are designed to form a numeric pattern used to unlock a padlock on a box loaded with other set of activities or challenges. Every time they successful open a box they are served with coffee/drink/token of appreciation to acknowledge their success. A help desk equipped with computers and reference books will be available for those who are unable to open the box to search. Incorporating EXPLORE Café session during the outreach will make the day very lively and productive for the learners and teachers.
The main reason for introducing EXPLORE Café session is to popularize STEM among students and to build soft skills – teamwork, speed, communication among others. We have no doubt that the introduction Café will be disruptive in schools but will help the learners link the concept they learn in class and the issues they face in real life situations. However, the success of the Café sessions will require collaboration among different partners.