STEMi Makers Africa Organises Training for Educators and Students to Promote STEM Education in Schools and Underserved CommunitiesIdes Ofune 10th June 2019 0 COMMENTS
STEMi Makers Africa is an organisation dedicated to promoting STEM education in Africa. It works to ensure that STEM innovation and education is developed and inculcated in underserved communities. This year, the vision was to reach out to students from ages 5- 13. This is because, a research survey carried out in the Ojo Local Government of Lagos, Nigeria showed that 8 in every 10 schools do not expose students to STEM experiential learning and practices. The reasons were unavailability of STEM labs and tools, unqualified STEM teachers, and a lack of desire from school owners to integrate STEM Education and design thinking curriculums into schools. In addition, many schools are of the view that there is no practical lesson in having STEM clubs while others say that although it is quite expensive, it is fundamentally very important to have a qualified teacher. Due to these reasons, most educators prefer to teach STEM within the larger science class.
Given this Background, STEMi Makers Africa in collaboration with Mothers Amalgamated International conducted an interactive workshop for primary/ secondary students. Stakeholders and educators present were shown practical lessons and fundamental experiments in STEM. This workshop was aimed at changing the pedagogical approach of teaching and impacting both volunteers and students in the Ojo Local Government. The programme was successful with more than 125 people in attendance. STEMi trained and demonstrated over 10 (ten) different activities that educators could begin to explore as STEM clubs in their schools. These ideas, requiring little or no financial resources could also be adapted to suit all ages
Over 40 young students present participated in hands-on activities such as identifying planets on the Solar system, assembling a Leggo Robot, flying a Drone, investigating Genetics and extracting DNA from fruits. During the workshop, Amanda Obidike, the Strategy Lead/ Co-founder of STEMi Makers Africa and Chika Ezinma, the Director of Mothers Amalgamated International said that STEM is exciting for students because of the focus on interdisciplinary learning making it an exceptional way of instructing, learning and innovation. They also encouraged educators and volunteers to create a stimulating environment and a variety of activities for children to explore STEM.
At the end of the workshop, participants were able to understand that if STEM is properly taught, it promotes rational thinking, curiosity and an understanding of the nature of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation amongst young Africans. A customized STEM activity documents was also shared amongst five (5) educators who wanted to begin STEM clubs for secondary school students. STEMi Makers Africa and Mothers Amalgamated International have been able to pass across this very important message of STEM education, build student confidence and ensure that they realize their potential.
Follow STEMi Makers Africa on:Twitter: @STEMiAfrica Facebook: @STEMiAfrica Instagram: @stemi_makers_africa, Tumblr: @stemiafricablog
Ides Ofune is currently a PhD Student at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on civil society and accountability in improving the quality of education. She is the founder of Desert Bloom Initiative and editor of Desert Bloom Advisory. Ides is very passionate about education and creating an inclusive society. She speaks French and English fluently. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org