STEM Synergy News

A New Horizon: Establishing the First STEM Center in South Sudan

Posted by STEM Synergy on Sep 13, 2017 2:03:44 PM

Buoyed by the success of STEM Centers in Ethiopia, we've been on a mission to launch a new STEM Center at the Juba University in South Sudan, the world's youngest nation.

This project has paralleled the journey of the people of South Sudan who have suffered years of debilitating war, strife, and unspeakable terror, most of which has fallen upon women and children. Did you know that 44% of South Sudanese are under the age of 14?

When launched this fall, the new Juba STEM Center will equip these children with trade skills, aid in the reintegration of youth soldiers, and provide a pre-university STEM feeder program for local children to attend Juba University. This is part one of that story:

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Topics: Juba, South Sudan, STEM Center

The History Behind the First STEM Center in Ethiopia

Posted by STEM Synergy on Sep 6, 2017 12:22:39 PM

Less than a decade ago, the FOKA STEM Center located in Bishoftu, a city in the region of Oromiya, was the site of a primary school that serviced 800 of the region's youth.  In dimly lit classrooms built from mud and hay, teachers taught a minimum of 60 students at a time.  

A typical classroom in the original Foka Public School

When STEM Synergy first visited the school, we learned that the biggest concern was a dangerous playground where a large electric power transformer was situated right in the middle of their soccer field.

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STEM Synergy Students Take Second Place in International "School Space Race" Contest

Posted by STEM Synergy on Aug 31, 2017 12:00:00 PM

A unique space-race challenge linking Norfolk (UK) and African schools, is hitting new heights!

Five teams in the UK partnered with five in sub-Saharan Africa, working to design, launch, and recover their own spacecraft in the 2017 School Space Race Balloon Competition.  A key feature of the project is to see pupils design a spacecraft using a weather balloon and compete against one another to see which can launch their craft the furthest into space.  

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Oromia Virtualized Computer Labs

Posted by STEM Synergy on Aug 23, 2017 1:46:49 PM

STEM Synergy establishes virtualized computer labs in eleven high schools located across the Oromia regional state of Ethiopia.  

Virtualized computer labs are a green solution to K-12 computing. In a virtualized computer lab, a single computer acts as a server running a classroom array of 20 to 30 workstations. This means 20 to 30 students each have their own "computer" workstation.  

Each workstation is comprised of a display monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse; all three of these traditional devices are connected to

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Ethiopia STEM Director Travels to Israel for Professional Training

Posted by STEM Synergy on Aug 23, 2017 1:46:05 PM


In May, 2017, STEM Synergy's Hawassa STEM Center Administrator, Nigist Tilahun, traveled to the Aharon Ofri MASHAV International Educational Training Center (METC) in Israel to participate in a 3-week international course: Education for Science and Math - STEM Framework.

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Science, Technology and Engineering: An area crucial for realizing Ethiopia’s development

Posted by STEM Synergy on Feb 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Every nation has now a rising concern to have competitive position in the global economy. And this is possible through renewed interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. STEM fields include mathematics, natural sciences (including physical sciences and biological/agricultural sciences), engineering/engineering technologies, and computer/information sciences. This idea is being advocated by many as the sector could share utmost role to the overall progressing economy.

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Foka visited by the Mayor of Bishoftu Town

Posted by STEM Synergy on Aug 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Dr. Wedajo Dadi, the Mayor of Bishoftu Town visited Foka Science and Engineering Center on 03 August 2016.

Prompted by STEM Synergy invitation, the Mayor made a tour of the laboratories and observed the students who were busy with project work for a science fair competition that isgoing to take place in the middle of September 2016.

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Local Businessman Promotes STEM Education in Ethiopian Classrooms

Posted by STEM Synergy on Jul 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Mark Gelfand is a businessman who has invested in Ethiopia in different areas. He is from Boston, Massachusetts. He is also undertaking humanitarian activities in the education sector focusing on science and technology using the STEM program and stem synergy. He is primarily engaged in woodworking which contributes to housing development in the country, coffee production and a farm in Hawassa.

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Foundation Stone laying Ceremony for  a Science Village at Aksum

Posted by STEM Synergy on Jul 1, 2016 9:00:00 AM

On the same day of the bequeathing the honorary degree to Dr. Mark Gelfand was conducted another very important event was organized and conducted at a spot selected for establishing a Science Village.

The special event which was launched at about 3 p.m. on the afternoon of July 2/2016 in the presence of the Mayor of Aksum Town, the University President and University Staff, was the laying down of a foundation stone for the establishment of a “Science Village” on a plot of land more than 1000sq. m donated by the Aksum Municipality.

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Mr. Mark Gelfand Conferred with an Honorary Degree

Posted by STEM Synergy on Jul 1, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The July 2, 2016, Graduation Ceremony at Aksum University was marked with a special occasion of awarding honorary degrees to two reknown figures: 

  • Aboy Sibhat Nega, the founder of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front. 

  • Mark Gelfand, the founder-sponsor of STEM Centers and enrichment programs in Ethiopia and neighboring East African Countries.

In his speech commemorating the occasion, the President of Aksum University expounded on the contribution of Mr. Mark Gelfand based on which the Senate of Aksum University conferred upon Mr. Mark Gelfand the Honorary Degree of Community Service.

Some of Mr. Mark's contributions cited in the President’s speech were:

  • The founding of Kalamino STEM Center

  • Construction of four senior secondary schools at Meikental, Inda Aba Guna, Woukro and Dansha towns in Tigray Regional state

  • Public library at Meikenetal

  • Providing 27 virtual computing units to  27 senior secondary schools in Tigray Region

  • The special agricultural project at Kalamino Special High School

Dr, Mark Gelfand expressed his appreciation to Aksum University and the Senate for bestowing him with the Honorary Degree of Community Service, and he note that Aksum city and its environ is a special place for him. He pointed out that his interest in Ethiopia was triggered by his experience with young immigrant Ethiopians at Yemin Orde Youth Village in Israel. Some of those students lived in Shire and Inda Aba Guna, towns that are just down the road from Aksum University.

At the conclusion of the 10th Anniversary of the Aksum University Graduation Ceremony, Dr. Gelfand mixed with the University staff for a pleasant gathering.

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Topics: News