STEM Synergy News

First STEM Center in South Sudan Opens

Posted by Mark Gelfand on Dec 7, 2017 11:48:06 AM
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.

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Topics: News, Juba, STEM Center

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 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.

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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 of the First STEM Center in Ethiopia

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

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.

A classroom in the old Foka Public School, dimly-lit and made of mud and hay

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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 a "thin client" device that wirelessly communicates with the classroom's large-capacity central computer.

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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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