The assessment includes:
Mapping of all Government offices, NGO, Academic, and corporate actors involved in STEM Education and the entrepreneur field within the country. Assess the educational content and quality taught by the various local actors to both teachers and students in the academic system.
Build partnerships with the local Ministry of Education, Ministry of Innovation and any other Ministry that can contribute to the development of the national STEM education system.
Begin discussions with the appropriate Academic Institution (Universities) that align with STEMpower’s vision to make sure its partners are maximizing the resources offered by STEMpower. The organization sees its involvement on a national level so to be able to maximize the impact on the whole country.
Identify the specific needs of each academic institution in terms of equipment, content enrichment, type of facilities that will accommodate the centers and discuss the self-sustainability of each center.
STEMpower envisions the academic institutions across the country as the catchment areas that pull high school students from the surrounding communities wanting to learn & develop their technical skills.
STEMpower also sees grades 8 – 12 as the optimal age to expose to STEM education and who eventually would become more intwined with local universities.
STEMpower usually focuses on academic institutions that plan or already have teaching staff with technical backgrounds, including ICT and TVET staff.
STEM Center Admin
Initially, STEMpower provides a computer lab and electronics lab that is set up by the organizations’ technical team.
STEMpower provides training to teachers on STEM, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Industrialization. The curriculum is adjusted and is provided in steps beginning with basic STEM education training and moving to more sophisticated training for teachers and students.
STEMpower enters countries where the local government categorizes STEM Education, Entrepreneurship & Industrialization as one of its core mandates. Therefore, the organizations’ work with the local government is of the utmost importance allowing the state to reclaim ownership over each center after STEMpower installs the centers and provides the training to each local academic institute.
Each STEM Center should include a Director/Admin and at least 2 part time mentors from within the academic institution. Mentors from the organization’s experience can be also students.
STEMpower sees its centers as the core excellence center that attracts high school and university students. This one is a more advanced level where the organization in partnership with the local government will have a FabLab which will allow access for the students and young entrepreneurs local who are interested in building prototypes of concepts that will enable them to build startups and businesses that would be the industrial backbone of the country helping it economically grow.
STEMpower is mainly engineering enrichment beyond the basic sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics) taught in municipal primary and secondary schools. However, some countries have insufficient resources to provide any of its municipal secondary schools with basic sciences lab equipment. In certain cases, our STEM Venter facility takes on the additional role of a town's Basic Sciences Lab, shared among all high schools in a town.
Entering a New Country
Historically a country's universities (or polytechnic) have endeavored to educate university-level students. By setting STEM Centers at tertiary-level educational institutions, the institutions' catchment community area of talented pre-university students will enjoy access to advanced technical potential. Moreover, the STEM Centers can draw from a sustainable pool of professors and skilled students. It's a symbiotic relationship that is permanent.
We typically first establish a "beachhead" STEM Center at the country's main university. Ideally, the lab furniture should be manufactured in-country, to promote local industry. Also plan for one-half ton of imported lab equipment.
That country's first STEM Center serves as a model to determine what works and what works less well. An ideal distribution of 1 STEM Center for every 2 million geo-diverse residents is an attainable long-term goal, if sufficient funding is available.
Responsibilities of the Host Site
Establishing a new STEM Center begins with the signing of a "Memorandum of Agreement" ("MoA"). The MoA specifies:
the responsibilities of STEMpower.
the responsibilities of the host site (typically a university or similar institution).
the responsibilities of optional parties, e.g. an Education Ministry, a financial backer, etc.
The responsibilities of STEMpower usually includes the acquisition of lab equipment and shipping that equipment to a port of entry, a negotiated amount of installation work, and a varying amount of initial training of the new STEM Center staff.
The responsibilities of the hosting site usually include:
hiring the STEM Center's administrative and technical staff (See the section "STEM Center Admin" on this page).
making available at least two lab rooms (each at least 100 sq m, per lab room).
acquisition of lab furniture (at least 12 sq m of lab tables, per each lab room. We recommend buying those from your country's local manufacturers).
acquisition of student seating (either chairs or stools, depending on lab table height).
acquisition of a teacher's desk and chair.
acquisition of a storage closet.