WAAW foundation conducted its third bi-annual Fellows summit in Lagos, Nigeria from 5th – 9th of August 2019. The Fellows summit brought together 11 fellows from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya for a one-week training workshop. WAAW Foundation fellows are young students studying any STEM-related course in their various higher institutions and implementing our STEM outreach programs in their communities. The overall objective of the Fellows’ summit is to train fellows on STEM programming, improve their pedagogical skills and provide them with our STEM-in-a-bag kit and curriculum, which they will take back to their chapters to run the outreach program for public school students around their community.
The overarching goal of STEM outreach and Mentorship is to bridge the secondary school to the college continuum for STEM and Computer Science in Africa and to ultimately increase the pipeline of African girls entering STEM careers. The STEM Chapter project recruits, trains, equips and facilitates a chapter consisting of 9 – 12 African University students to provide STEM tutoring, computer science training and mentoring to 3 – 5 public secondary schools in their communities. WAAW currently operates 15 STEM chapters in 8 African countries, with over 200 fellows. The chapters impact over 10,000 youth each year.
During the summit, they got the opportunity to be trained in STEM activities such as renewable energy, STEM pedagogy and integrative teaching, Hands-on activities on science subject, introducing to computer science & programming (SCRATCH, Arduino, Blockly ), Teaching Computer Science without computers (CSUnplugged), Robotics, Introduction to the use of ICT in outreach programs, Introduction to Web design (HTML & CSS), Introduction to Mobile App Development (MIT App inventor), Introduction to tools that make teaching fun and effective, Curriculum development.
The overall purpose was to provide them with sufficient and adequate skills they would need whenever they go out for outreaches in secondary schools.
The WAAW Fellows were trained on Solar and Wind energy as various forms of renewable energy. They learned how the Solar panel functions and also how to build a functional wind turbine. With this, they can easily teach students about renewable energy and sustainable ways to combat inadequate electricity. Additionally, the basics behind electricity and circuits as well as how to teach these topics using Arduino was taught.
WAAW Foundation facilitators led several sessions on the inclusion of gender as a cross-cutting theme during the training and introduced the use of technology to enhance the classroom experience for students through hands-on activities that can be used to increase the interest among secondary school students to pursue courses in STEM at the post-secondary level.
On the final day of the summit, WAAW fellows had a moment with the WAAW Foundation Founder, Dr. Unoma Okorafor and the Program Manager, Lucy Ikpesu Ewhubare; mentored fellows to be the role models the young students as they look up to them in pursuing STEM courses at the university. Fellows also went on a field trip to explore Lekki Conservation Center, Lagos Nigeria and also got to experience Africa’s longest Canopy Walkway. “The past 6 days in Nigeria as been so awesome. Being part of this program is a great honor. Because it has helped me a lot to step up to be influential and I hope it will help me more in the future whereby I will be Contributing, teaching and mentoring young girls in STEM programs” … Brenda, Uganda.