STEMpower has recently opened STEM Centers in 3 unusual locations:
1) Torit TVET (South Sudan vocational training center)
Due to heavy rains preventing transport across South Sudan, we searched for alternative hosting sites for our STEM Centers. At the same time, the South Sudanese national TVET system (focused on Technical and Vocational Education and Training) had been searching for greater relevance beyond the manual construction trades e.g. carpentry, plumbing, sewing uniforms.
The town of Torit, a 3 hours drive east of the national capital Juba, has a large TVET campus. That TVET was teaching computer principles but had only 1 functioning computer. STEMpower re-routed its STEM Center lab equipment (30-workstation Virtual Computer Lab, 3D printer, Electronics Lab, Basic Sciences Lab, and furniture), originally intended for an unreachable university. We also installed 15 kW of solar power, needed at all South Sudan sites. In only a few days, the Torit TVET STEM Center was alive and active!
2) Kality Prison School (Ethiopia)
Prisoners remanded to Ethiopia's federal central prison have few choices after release, causing many to re-offend. To reverse that negative outcome, the wardens asked STEMpower to intervene. Could our sophisticated hands-on education courses offer an alternative path, providing each released prisoner a better chance at a life-changing career?
Instead of endlessly theorizing about that idea, our experiment has already started! STEMpower set up Electronics and Virtual computer labs creating opportunities for the prisoners. The prisoners are no longer limited to basic handcraft works; now they can practice and develop projects in modern labs. As students, they feel less isolated from the rest of the world, giving them hope that they can catch up with new technologies during their prison times.
3) Nehemia Autistic STEM Center (Ethiopia)
There is a theory that some forms of Autism syndrome are a result of too much information racing in the brain, causing a child to move to a place of absolute isolation. But that location may cut off the child sufferer from society, or simply be bored. If a child could interact deeply within a quiet engaging educational space, perhaps the brilliance inside students will have an outlet.
Early indications are that the Ethiopian children suffering Autism do indeed quickly engage and are challenged by their new access to many equipment, melting away many barriers.
STEMpower established the virtual computer lab at the center that promotes the children’s' cognitive growth through gaming activities.
You can help STEMpower on its mission to provide STEM access and enrichment to hundreds of thousands of students in sub-Saharan Africa.
Please refer to our website: STEMpower.org, and click on Donate.