STEM Synergy News

Ethiopian National Science Fair Highlights STEM Synergy's Role in Transforming Science Education

Posted by STEM Synergy on Nov 14, 2017 8:25:25 AM

Mark Gelfand helps award winners of the National Science, Engineering and Robotics Fair

STEM Synergy has helped to make STEM and virtual computing centers, labs, and museums more accessible across Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Herald reported last week.

 “STEM Synergy … has been complementing the government’s ongoing efforts to bring about transformation in science and technology,” the article said, noting how these efforts are aimed at developing the culture of science and technology and therefore improve competitiveness.

One example of the collaboration between STEM Synergy and the Ethiopian government, along with other NGOs, is the Ethiopian National Science, Engineering and Robotics Fair, taking place over the last week. Innovations developed by 120 students from across Ethiopia are being recognized at this fairwhich highlights the growing relevance of a strong education in STEM subjects for young people.

STEM Synergy has played an important role in providing access to STEM centers around the country.”We are working with almost all universities and states to realize the synergy we are aspiring,” Mark I. Gelfand, STEM Synergy’s founder, told the Ethiopian Herald.

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STEM Education Mentoring: A STEM Synergy Partnership Between Israel and Ethiopia

Posted by STEM Synergy on Nov 9, 2017 2:25:21 PM

Ethiopian university presidents at the Arava Institute, Ketora, Israel

The science education links between Ethiopia and Israel started by coincidence.  STEM Synergy founder Mark Gelfand, an entrepreneur from Boston, had been giving mentoring and philanthropic support to many science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in Israel and the United States. One year, students from Yemin Orde Youth Village, which is a home, school, and safe-haven for at-risk immigrant youth in Israel, came in first place in the Israeli FIRST Robotics competition. Gelfand was impressed with these students, many of whom had emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel, and he decided to travel to Ethiopia in 2008 to see for himself the potential of the 100 million residents of that country, as well as to find out their needs for accessing STEM education.

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South Sudan STEM Center is Powered Up and Ready to Launch!

Posted by STEM Synergy on Sep 27, 2017 2:49:00 PM

This is the second installment recounting the story behind the new STEM Center on the Juba University Campus in South Sudan.

With the construction of the STEM Center buildings near completion, the project was once again put on hold due to the disruption of a second civil war outbreak.  Once the tensions subsided, we realized that to successfully launch the center we would need to work with an organization that was familiar with the region and the people of South Sudan. In May 2016, STEM Synergy partnered with IsraAid to conduct a risk and needs assessment and together began a campaign to launch a sustainable, full equipped STEM Center on the Juba University Campus.

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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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