STEM Power inaugurates STEM Centre at Arba Minch University

AMU’s Community Service Directorate in association with STEM Power has established a mini STEM Centre at Main Campus wherein trainers will be trained to operate different equipments in laboratories. The main goal is to ensure innovators’ mind get wired to look for out-of-the-box solutions for community’s problems, said, STEM Power’s Executive Director and Country Lead for Ethiopia, Ms Kidist Gebreamlak, Click here to see the pictures

STEM Centre was inaugurated at Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Main Campus by AMU President, Dr Damtew Darza and Ms Kidist Gebreamlak; university top officials, Community Service Directorate Director, Dr Teklu Wegayehu, staff members and other stakeholders were in attendance.

Dr Damtew Darza appreciating the development, said, establishment of STEM centre in AMU will take the curiosity of brilliant children to the next level. It will fire their mind to think and get their ideas transformed into an innovation and boost young innovators to transform creative energy into technological asset that will pave the way for socio-economic growth in the community and nation at large.

Research and Community Service Vice President, Mr Behailu Merdekios, said, the concept of STEM has been around the world and we know science is key for development wherein STEM program has played important role. Taking cue from this, Ethiopian government has embraced this unique concept and initially Bahir Dar University has developed this centre where prodigy kids from kindergarten to higher education get lessons.

Specially, I would attribute the credit to Ministry of Science and Higher Education for incorporating STEM aspect in 10-year policy. At AMU, it’s a mini centre but in future it will be scaled up where brilliant children will get an opportunity to exploit it further that will benefit them, community and nation as well. Herein, AMU will give emphasis on resources available in Arba Minch to create entrepreneurship that will spawn innovation and contribute in value chain process for fruits, vegetables, etc., he underscored.

Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Alemayehu Chufamo, said, while touring Hawassa University, having seen their dedicated and fully-equipped STEM centre, I got impressed. In that respect, our centre is tiny, so, I strongly believe we should have fully dedicated building for it and have a long-term vision to expose our children to science through which they can explore world around them. And integration of STEM in education will expose them to problem-solving approach to learning that aligns with their curiosity that can be further developed.

Ms Kidist Gebreamlak, informed that STEM Power is an NGO that works on education, it’s working for last 13 years in Ethiopia and has established 1st STEM centre in Beshoftu Foka and till date, it has 48 centers to its credit. In 2021, it’s committed to establish 13 more centers thus will cover almost all public universities. She adds, that our vision is to create economic impact through technology and by installing STEM centers we give access to students, youth and whosoever interested to have experiential learning.

More importantly, she said, STEM can be applied in every sector but in hard sciences instead of just understanding theories we want to give opportunity to those curious minds to try different things, this way we facilitate hands on education. Our fabrication laboratory is the place where innovators come and tell us their ideas that help us to create prototypes. We have centers in South Sudan, Tanzania and in Kenya and soon we will be going into Uganda, she informed.

Having signed 2-year pact, she said, STEM Power will cover operational cost, provide trainings, required materials and after 2 years centre will be handed over to AMU. In turn, AMU has to identify passionate individuals and coordinate with STEM Power, she added.

And in next two weeks, trainers will be trained at focused STEM Centre at Debrezeit Foka and thereafter two experts will head two laboratories at AMU and assist trainees. We want to develop analytical skills so that students’ brain is wired to look for out-of-the-box skills and become innovators.

She said, STEM education plays crucial role where technology is key, hence, I hope community, university and partners we approach should value the way we do and invest time, energy and resources to make it grow and take it to the next level, she stressed.

(Communication Affairs Directorate)