African Union: Innovating Education Expo, in Dakar Senegal

by Kidist Gebreamlak | 28 Oct 2018
  STEM Synergy was invited to the African Union's "Innovating Education in Africa Expo" event in Dakar, Senegal.  Our Executive Director Kidist Gebreamlak, our Ethiopian executive team, and two of our STEM students made the long flight there.  Our practical demonstration of implementing hands-on STEM enrichment across Ethiopia brought an exciting new dimension to the Expo.

Connecting with the Diaspora

by Kidist Gebreamlak | 4 Oct 2018
  STEM Synergy has been steadily increasing our connection with the Ethiopian-heritage people residing in the United States.  We were honored with a prominent presence at the 2018 "Empower the Community Weekend", the annual gathering which brings together the Ethiopian diaspora in Washington DC area.  Two of our team served on the speaker's panel discussing Science&Technology in Ethiopia.  The panel discussion was broadcast on Ethiopian TV.
Topics: News

STEM TV reaching a wide audience in Ethiopia

by Mark Gelfand | 28 Aug 2018
  You probably know that STEM Synergy has established STEM Centers and other science&engineering programs across Ethiopia.  But how to reach students in remote rural areas?  Internet access is unavailable to most students, due to limited infrastructure and financial resource.  Our partnership with YG  Productions is bringing STEM enrichment excitement to millions of Ethiopian students who have village access to electricity.  Our new weekly show "Science TV Series" is produced entirely within Ethiopia, is broadcasting on the Walta satellite channel, and is already reaching many thousands of viewers. A typical episode, with English subtitles added: See the list of programs broadcast to date:
Topics: News

Foka STEM girls in Technovation-Ethiopia 2018

by Mark Gelfand | 29 May 2018
Seventeen girls' teams competed in the Technovation-Ethiopia 2018 event, which was held in the capital city of Addis Ababa on May 19, 2018. Our Foka-STEM-Center in Bishoftu town (45 km south of the capital) fielded two teams, which were the first entrants ever from outside the capital. One of our teams (Team "Hora") won its Junior Division's first place! 
Topics: News

Opening new doors for girls in South Sudan and KRI

by Mark Gelfand | 9 Mar 2018
While many of STEM Synergy's programs are in Ethiopia, other deserving locales benefit from our STEM education initiatives. With our partner IsraAID, we have had major impact in South Sudan and the Kurdish Region of Iraq. Honoring the annual International Women's Day, our programs continue to provide women and girls with pathways toward major roles in their societies.
Topics: News

STEM Center emerging: Liqa in Wolaita-Sodo

by Mark Gelfand | 27 Feb 2018
Entering the new Liqa mini STEM Center, in Wolaita-Sodo, November 11, 2017 This is the story of STEM Synergy's fourteenth STEM Center in Ethiopia.  The site is the Liqa Boarding School in Ethiopia's beautiful southern zone of Wolaita .  Our newest STEM Center is a "mini" type, where the school's existing facilities are modified to hold two new engineering labs.  Regardless of configuration, our STEM Centers are partners in pre-university STEM enrichment.
Topics: News STEM Center

Ethiopian Herald visits Foka-STEM-Center

by Mark Gelfand | 22 Feb 2018
Foka STEM Center, in Bishoftu city, Oromiya regional state, Ethiopia On February 10, 2018, reporters from the national newspaper Ethiopian Herald  visited STEM Synergy's first STEM Center to learn first-hand about the Center's role in transforming the nation's approach to STEM education.   Discussion topics included the many hands-on programs that were spawned from this Center.  These programs have better prepared thousands of students for their future university science, computer, and engineering studies.
Topics: News STEM Center

First STEM Center in South Sudan Opens

by Mark Gelfand | 7 Dec 2017
Juba University STEM Center, opened November 13, 2017 After overcoming challenging years of instability and carefully avoiding the effects of hyperinflation, STEM Synergy and local stakeholders have succeeded in opening the first STEM Center in South Sudan's capital city, Juba. The University of Juba now enjoys the first science and engineering education laboratories in all of South Sudan. Also within the same university compound, we've established the first Vocational Training Center to teach the principles of construction trades, including a large garage for learning automobile and light truck repair. The STEM and Vocational campus empowers South Sudan to develop a critical mass of technically skilled workers, a key element to building a strong and independent nation.

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

by STEM Synergy | 14 Nov 2017
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 national newspaper Ethiopian Herald reported, 15 November, 2017. “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.

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

by STEM Synergy | 9 Nov 2017
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.

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

by STEM Synergy | 27 Sep 2017
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.

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

by STEM Synergy | 13 Sep 2017
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:

The History of the First STEM Center in Ethiopia

by STEM Synergy | 6 Sep 2017
The Foka STEM Center is located in Bishoftu, a city in Oromiya state, 45 km south of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa. This first STEM Center shares the campus of a primary school (grades 1-8) serving 800 of the area's youth. What started eight years ago as a small undertaking to make the school's soccer field safer for students, grew into a large-scale community project that replaced the entire aging school complex. But even more exciting was the possibility that we could realize our dream of providing hands-on STEM education enrichment, through the construction of our first Ethiopian hands-on STEM Center.

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

by STEM Synergy | 31 Aug 2017
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.

Oromia Virtualized Computer Labs

by STEM Synergy | 23 Aug 2017
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 a "thin client" device that wirelessly communicates with the classroom's large-capacity central computer.

Ethiopia STEM Director Travels to Israel for Professional Training

by STEM Synergy | 23 Aug 2017
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.

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

by STEM Synergy | 14 Feb 2017
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.

Foka visited by the Mayor of Bishoftu Town

by STEM Synergy | 2 Aug 2016
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 is going to take place in the middle of September 2016.

Local Businessman Promotes STEM Education in Ethiopian Classrooms

by STEM Synergy | 8 Jul 2016
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.

Foundation Stone laying Ceremony for  a Science Village at Aksum

by STEM Synergy | 1 Jul 2016
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 1000 sq. m donated by the Aksum Municipality.

Mr. Mark Gelfand Conferred with an Honorary Degree

by STEM Synergy | 1 Jul 2016
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.
Topics: News

Foka hosts a ToT  on Robotics to Scale-up STEM Activities in Ethiopia

by STEM Synergy | 23 Jun 2016
Robotics training organized and funded by STEM Synergy with the technical cooperation of IsraAid was hosted by Foka Science and Engineering Center from 14 June-23rd June 2016. The delegation of trainers which were carefully selected for the special training were three mentors and three student volunteers from Yeruham Science Center in Israel. The delegation was headed by a lady , Liat Rennert and a technical Coordinator Ido Frommer.


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