The United States (US) Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria from November 26-29 this year collaborated with the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation Makers Africa (STEMi Makers Africa) In a quest to cultivate a world-class STEM workforce by improving Educator’s competence with modern STEM Integrated tools.
Some 100 Educators from three Under-served Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State, Nigeria were trained under the program held at the IBM Innovation Center, Churchgate Towers in Victoria Island, Lagos – Nigeria lasted 4 days.
A rigorous, diverse and hands-on workshop training was offered at the event that engaged Educators in design thinking projects, hardware prototyping, data analytics, AI, engineering process, digital skills, and space science. Other training programs offered weer in applications, capacity building, applied pedagogues in practical teaching and others.
The educators, selected from 32 pre-tertiary schools in Ojo, Amuwo-Odofin, and Ifelodun Ajeromi Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State benefited from the program’s objectives of “Train-the-Trainer” and build educators with exemplary practices to serve as STEM ambassadors for promoting STEM Education in their respective schools. Another objective was to have the trainees train their colleagues and expand the learning community for effective sharing and knowledge transfer of practical education.
Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate General in Lagos — Russell Brooks — who spoke to educators about the importance of STEM cited examples of emerging technologies and how they are shaping today’s world. He said: “The world is moving at a very fast pace and may not wait for Nigeria to catch up with it,” stating further that participants embrace applied innovation in teaching to stimulate better learning in their students.
Amanda Uzoma Obidike — the Strategy Lead for STEMi Makers Africa — who was at the event told TheAfricanDream.net which is a media partner of STEMi Makers Africa that participants were also introduced to “the IBM Digital Nations Africa platform where they can access free courses, professional opportunities and develop solutions with STEM resources.” Amanda emphasized that the STEM Integration and Development Training for Educators are to enable educators to be problem solvers and critical thinkers able to analyze information to know what skills they need and when needed.
Amanda also told TheAfricanDream.net that the training program wants to prepare educators who will serve as mentors and assist young students with transferable skills effective to deliver economic opportunities for communities, “this will create a flourishing environment to match current global standards.“
Educators at the end of the 4-day training workshop assured STEMi Makers Africa and the Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate that they will start science clubs in their schools and redesign their respective curriculum to stimulate effective and exciting learning experiences.
Partners who contributed to the successful planning and execution of the event included Nestlé Waters, STAMPAR3D Design 460, NASA, Space Generation Advisory Council, Desert Bloom Advisory, Fields of Skills and Dreams VTE. Official media partners for the program were the US-based communication consultancy TheAfricanDream.net and ThisDay LIVE Newspaper of Nigeria.
Written by Oral Ofori