ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Leveraging STEM education for national growth [ICT Clinic]

“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and will go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics” – Katherine Johnson, American Mathematician, whose calculations, as a NASA employee, were critical, to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. spaceflights.

As part of the need for nation building and proper development, rooted in the art of science and technology, many African countries, that are categorised, as developing countries, have come up, with initiatives to turn the tide to their advantage. Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and lately, Rwanda. These countries are striving to become like the United States of America, Japan, and Germany that have sowed the seed of innovative creation, in their younger generations, over time.

Nigeria, although, is among the three leading African countries, in terms of technological standing on the continent, its progress in that regard is still being hindered by a number of infrastructural and managerial issues. Nigeria can, however, no longer sulk in pity in the face of these issues. There is the need to try the fragmented approach in improving its status, as a technologically inclined country innovative growth that we desire. It can start by getting its younger population to be interested in technology.

This must have been the motivation behind a two-week Remita 2019 Summer Coding Camp organised for school kids during the last summer holidays in Lagos by SystemSpecs in partnership with TechQuest. It is very imperative that nations seeking to find themselves among the league of relevant countries must embrace STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), education. It all begins from childhood.

With this initiative from SystemSpecs as a private institution making significant contribution to the nation’s capacity development through the summer coding camp, it is expected that more private sector initiatives will be carried out in this regard.

Everywhere around us, the touch of science has become inevitable as well as the application of technology in our everyday lives. Engineering stands its feet as the basics of any average design, while mathematics occupies an average activity in our daily lives. In their classrooms, children learn in context the connectivity between the class and the larger world around them.

The importance of STEM education is aligned to a nation’s quest for technological advancement. According to the National Science Foundation, children will need a strong foundation in STEM subjects to be successful in the information-driven age.

“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become, increasingly, important, as we face the benefits and challenges, of both globalisation and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels, much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past” – (National Science Foundation).

With STEM education, children are empowered with the art of creative innovation, as well as, a sound development of their analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills. What differentiates STEM subjects from the average traditional science, is the integrated learning environment, a factor that spurs children’s innate ability to learn and serves as the embryo for student learning. STEM education starts with the students while they are very young.

At the elementary stage, basically, the nursery or early basic classes, STEM education, has its focus on the introductory level and awareness of STEM in various fields and occupations. At this stage, — Finish Reading on the Punch