For more than two weeks, about 500 students secondary school students drawn from underserved communities of Agege, Alimosho and Ifako-Ijaiye in Lagos Education District one, recently participated in a series of STEM workshops, designed to stimulate their interest in Maths and Science, as well as careers in the STEM fields.
The workshop sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, saw the students learning how to build, program and fly drones, do computer coding, solar panel assembly, weather balloon technology, artificial intelligence, and coding of video games, among others.
The capacity building programme tagged, ‘Global Air Drone Challenge for Students’, was led by instructors from U.S.-headquartered Global Air Drone Academy in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Education.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the programme, held at Government Senior College in Agege, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli explained that the series of workshops is part of the U.S. Mission’s ongoing efforts to promote STEM education in Nigeria.
He noted that ensuring access to opportunities in STEM fields drives innovation and create conditions for a more prosperous society.
“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is committed to supporting programs that provide youth with access to quality technological learning opportunities,” Ibelli said, adding that in a world that’s becoming increasingly technology-driven, it’s more important than ever before for the youths to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to become innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world, both today and tomorrow.
In his remarks, Eno Umoh, co-founder of Global Air Drone Academy, highlighted the importance of equipping students with the requisite skills to be successful in the 21st century global economy.
The importance of education, he noted, cannot be overemphasized, as it helps to develop tech skills in the students and keeps them on track to acquire such STEM enabling competencies like critical and computational thinking, collaboration and creativity that has lifelong advantages.
“All we need is the spark that will inspire the students’ curiosity and interest in science and Maths that can lead to career opportunities in STEM fields,” Umoh added.
The Global Air Drone Challenge for Students builds on the five-day Global Air Challenge for Teachers which introduced 50 teachers from Agege, Alimosho and Ifako-Ijaiye to the best practices in implementing an integrated approach to teaching STEM in the classroom.
The capacity building workshops for teachers and students support the U.S. mission’s goal of strengthening human capital for inclusive Nigerian economic growth and human development.
SOURCE: ALL AFRICA