ENTRUST STEM – First Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Camp

STEPHJOY SCHOOLS – UBRICA YOUTH MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Dorcas Nyawira, Joyce Mugambi, Wahito Wachira, Susan Nyambura Njuguna, Caroline Muthoni Ndigirigi, and Macharia Waruingi

Wednesday, December 5, to Sunday, December 9, 2018

STEPHJOY GIRLS’ HIGH SCHOOL

LIMURU, KENYA

The Problem

The general problem is that Science education in Africa is not well developed (Hennesy, 2015). Introduction of Western education in Africa ushered introduction of science education. The style of teaching from the beginning was problematic because science was taught as dogma rather than systematic inquiry (Ogunniyi, 1986). Consequently, science teaching in African countries does not impart practical knowledge (Ramnarain, 2016). The resulting problem is that science knowledge in Africa does not translate to commercial products that people could use to solve problems. Widespread absence of innovation renders Africa a large technological desert (Odedra, Lawrie, Bennett & Goodman, 1993)

The specific problem is that practical education in science is missing. African education enterprise does not promote awareness about the importance of practical training in science. Questions arises:

  • How can we increase awareness of importance Science education in Africa?
  • How could awareness of importance of practical science education in Africa result in increase in technological innovation?

The Solution

Stephjoy Schools and Ubrica joined hands to create Entrust STEM a Youth Mentorship Program that is focused on advancement of practical use of science and technological knowledge among young people in Africa. The purpose of entrust is to generate lasting interest in science among primary school, high school and university students. Each student will be matched with a mentor who is a person accomplished in any field of science and technology. Entrust will emphasize practical use of scientific knowledge to create appropriate technologies for solving local problems. The program will commit each student to engage in hands-on experiences of using science to create products or services.

It is under this Program that Entrust STEM plans to host an annual science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) mentorship camp at Stephjoy School in Limuru Kenya. The inaugural event will take place Wednesday, December 5 to Sunday, December 9, 2018.

The purpose of the event is to promote science-based careers among high school and university students. The event will help to demonstrate the critical importance of knowing how to use scientific knowledge effectively to spur profound development social, economic and political development in Africa.  The event will focus on helping the students understand the role of science to each student as an individual, domestic uses of science at home to help solve family issues, and general use of science in the society. We hope to address questions:

  • How do we use science to create technologies that can be used by families to improve life at home? (e.g., making vinegar from fruits, making home remedies from herbal trees, using pyrethrum to control insects that carry dangerous diseases such as malaria, etc.)
  • How do we use science to create technologies that can be used by the society to solve social problems? (e.g., mobile technologies for solving traffic congestion in cities, corruption, water shortage, flooding, health care, etc.)
  • What is the role of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, engineering, technology in life? How would knowledge of these subjects inform the process of development of relevant, appropriate technologies for Africa?
  • What are examples of relevant and appropriate technologies developed from profound understanding of science and related subjects?

Significance

This project is significant to stakeholders of science and teaching in Africa. The figure below is a map of stakeholders who would benefit from the program.

Entrust STEM will help to transform education that is presently suffering business theories left over from the 80s and 90s. Currently in Africa, most STEM jobs are performed by or outsourced to multinationals from other countries like China. People working for African governments are signing large infrastructure contracts with foreign organizations instead of demanding that the future workforce be sourced from local people. Development of local human resource is crucial for national growth.

Over the next decade, African employers can expect to have millions of jobs requiring basic STEM literacy. Hundreds of thousands of people will need advanced STEM knowledge. Companies in Africa are already struggling to find skilled employees with STEM knowledge. Africa is crying out for skilled young people in every single country. The mismatch between their current skills and what the companies need is getting wider.

Demand for research, skills and education and STEM is increasing in Africa. STEM education is a specifically important strategy for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation and poverty reduction.  Entrust STEM is concerned about Africa’s development towards knowledge-based society. Entrust STEM foresees widespread creation of new technology-based types of jobs in Africa. This will broaden the requirement for integration of STEM in education. Entrus STEM will support creation of effective STEM classrooms that energize students, help them grow into creative thinkers and collaborators. The program will help to generate ideas for solving real-world engineering design problem. It will empower girls to aspire to careers in STEM and break down the barriers of gender bias, Improve performance of the STEM subjects in school- practical learning.

In the future, Entrust STEM may help to increase supply of qualified STEM teachers, teacher confidence in subject matter, access to education resources such updated text books. Fully developed Entrust STEM will help overcome language barriers by putting scientific language in the mainstream. Ultimately Entrust STEM will spur opportunities for economic growth driven by

knowledge, research, development, entrepreneurship and analytical knowledge of STEM education.

Camp Program

The First Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Africa’s Development will involve a five-day onsite camp at Stephjoy Girls’ High School, Limuru, Kenya. This inaugural event will be followed by continuous online mentorship program. The table below shows the program of the event.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
6:00am-8:00am Arrival of Campers
8:00am-10:00am General Session 1
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 2 (Mathematics)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 3 (Mathematics)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 1 (Mathematics)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 2 (Mathematics)
Thursday, December 6, 2018
8:00am-10:00am General Session 4
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 5 (Sciences)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 6 (Sciences)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 3 (Sciences)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 4 (Sciences)
Friday, December 7, 2018
8:00am-10:00am General Session 7
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 8 (Technology)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 9 (Technology)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 5 (Technology)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 6 (Technology)
Saturday, December 8, 2018
8:00am-10:00am General Session 10
10:00am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:30am General Session 11 (Engineering)
11:30am-12:30pm General Session 12 (Engineering)
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch & Interaction
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshop 7 (Engineering)
3:00pm-4:00pm Workshop 8 (Engineering)
Sunday, December 9, 2018
8:30am-9:00am Arrival of Parents
9:00am-12:00pm Parents and Students General Session
12:30pm Leave at own leisure

 

Organizing Partners

This event will be co-hosted by Stephjoy Schools and Ubrica

The event will be targeting the USAID, Canadian Government, JICA, STEM in the USA, Africans in the Diaspora.

Format

The format includes general sessions, panel discussions with specialists from the different professions and workshops.

Outcomes

The Camp is expected to have the following outcomes:

  • More students encouraged to engage in the science and technical careers
  • More mentoring opportunities in the future
  • Emergence of new networks for science in Africa
  • Properly trained professionals
  • A better future for Africa in science

 

Author notes

Ms. Dorcas Nyawira, Director of the STEM Camp and Operations Manager, Stephjoy Schools,

Mrs. Joyce Mugambi, Advisor to the STEM Camp and President, Stephjoy Schools

Ms. Wahito Wachira, Advisor to the STEM Camp and Director of Legal Research, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Ms. Susan Nyambura Njuguna, Advisor to the STEM Camp and Director of Research and Professional Community Development, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Ms. Caroline Muthoni Ndigirigi, Advisor to the STEM Camp and Coordinator of Research and Professional Community Development, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Dr. Macharia Waruingi, Advisor to the STEM Camp and President, Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa [UBRICA]

Contact: Phone: +254 722 680 567; Email: entruststem@gmail.com

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