More than 500 high school students from underserved communities of Agege, Alimosho and Ifako-Ijaiye in Lagos State Education District 1, participated in a series of STEM workshops sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General of Lagos from October 12 to 28.
During the workshops, the students learned how to build, programme, and fly drones, computer coding, solar panel assembly, weather balloon technology, cell phone repair, artificial intelligence, and coding of video games.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the programme held at Government Senior College in Agege, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli explained that the initiative was designed to stimulate the interest of the participating students in math and science, as well as careers in the STEM fields.
Ibelli explained that the series of workshops form part of the U.S. Mission’s ongoing efforts to promote STEM education in Nigeria and ensure access to opportunities in STEM fields, drive innovation and create conditions for a more prosperous society.
“The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is committed to supporting programmes that provide youth with access to quality technological learning opportunities,” Ibelli said.
“In a world that’s becoming increasingly technology-driven, it’s more important than ever before for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to become innovators, educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world, both today and tomorrow.”
In his remarks, Eno-Obong Umoh, co-founder of Global Air Drone Academy, highlighted the importance of equipping students with the requisite skills to be successful in the 21st-century global economy.
Umoh explained that education to develop tech skills places students on track to acquire such STEM enabling competencies like critical and computational thinking, collaboration and creativity that has lifelong advantages.
“All we need is the spark that will inspire the students’ curiosity and interest in science and math that can lead to career opportunities in STEM fields,” Umoh added.
The capacity building programme tagged “Global Air Drone Challenge for Students” was led by instructors from U.S.-headquartered Global Air Drone Academy in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Education.
The Global Air Drone Challenge for Students builds on the five-day Global Air Drone Challenge for Teachers which introduced 50 teachers from Agege, Alimosho and Ifako-Ijaiye to the best practices in implementing an integrated approach to teaching STEM in the classroom.
These capacity-building workshops for teachers and students support the U.S. Mission’s goal of strengthening human capital for inclusive Nigerian economic growth and human development.