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To STEM education Inc
STEM Education Inc is a Colorado non profit Corporation created to promote and establish the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) leaders for the 21st Century!
A Bit of History...
In the summer of 1998 we stumbled upon a box sitting on the shelf at an educational store with a name of MINDSTORMS Robotics and a website for FIRST LEGO League - FLL (www.firstinspires.org ). Already actively involved with creating new and innovative ways to engage children in problem solving activities at our school, it was an instant fit and our journey into robotics competitions was launched. We knew we had to start a team because of the intrinsic value we saw in the program as an avenue for hands on, project based education.
We registered two Colorado teams ...there were three teams in the whole state...we were two of those three. For the first four years of competition, we traveled to LEGO Land in California so our kids could compete because Colorado did not hold an official tournament in those beginning years. Now, because of multitudes of volunteers and corporate sponsors there are 250 teams in our home state alone! That first year, there were about 700 teams around America. This year, there will be almost 30,000 teams worldwide.
In 2011, while he was in the United States, we had the privilege of an introduction to Dr. Peter Keiyoro of Kenya. Dr. Keiyoro is Vice Chairman of a committee established by the Kenyan government with a task of finding solutions for the reform of Kenya education, bringing it into the 21st Century. During a hastily scheduled meeting in Atlanta, we took a MINDSTORM robot, who performed as a true gentleman if I might add, and other LEGO Education products we see as instrumental to helping establish solid STEM/ICT programs for children.
Within the hour, Dr. Keiyoro said, "WE MUST HAVE THIS IN KENYA!" He asked us to come and I told him that Kathy and I, "...don't know how we'll do it but we will come." Through several meetings that some would call coincidence, a proposal was drafted...an unexpected sponsor solidly onboard, and now we are going to the children and teachers of Kenya! Beginning in 7 pilot schools to launch project based programs using LEGO Education materials, our five year plan seeks to infuse the Kenyan educational frontier with hope and solid tools for a brighter, creative and problem solving based opportunities for the kids.
This is just the beginning. We would love to have you join the STEM for Kenya team in this safari...a hunt that will capture opportunities for a reformed and dynamic education system for the children of Kenya. Then...hang on...we're on to another country!
Kenya Educational Outreach
Introduction and Implementation of 21st Century Educational Programs for Students of Kenya
through LEGO Education Products and Services
Kenya, a young and beautiful country, has long recognized the need to provide STEM opportunities for their youth. Several years ago, under the leadership of Dr. Peter Keiyoro, Chairman of the Kenyan government’s Committee for Educational Reform, a task force was commissioned to evaluate methods of providing viable alternatives to their current system of educating Kenyan students.
Predominately an educational system revolving around a curriculum requiring massive amounts of rote memorization followed by national exams, many in the Kenyan government recognized the need to find and implement programs for the students which would target creative problem solving opportunities. In Dr. Keiyoro’s words, “We need to teach our children how to think.”
LAUNCH Kenya Education Frontier began to do on site training and demonstration of LEGO Educational STEM materials including robotics in May of 2012. The goal: Plant robotics programs in schools throughout Kenya then offer tournaments where children can enjoy the challenge of testing what they learn!
Over a three year period, working with pilot schools in both rural and city areas, assorted STEM educational materials including NXT LEGO robotics were brought to each school. In addition, with each delivery of materials, teachers and students were personally trained in the use of these kits. Enrollment at the schools targeted in the Kenya Educational Frontier range from several hundred students to around 1000. Some schools have mixed enrollment while others are strictly a boys or girls campus.
Some schools formed robotics classes while some formed after school engineering and robotics clubs. Students were predominately high school aged with some in middle school. Students at the college level who were studying to be future educators in Kenya also met for a full day symposium on Implementing Robotics and STEM into the School. The goal for each group:
At the University level: Introduce future generations of Kenyan teachers to the potential benefits of utilizing mechanized curriculum and robotics in the classroom. The goal is to demonstrate how the use of creative curriculum materials will stimulate their students toward 21st century, creative problem solving. Symposiums will provide hands on workshops in the use of LEGO MINDSTORMS robots. Alongside the robotics will be a demonstration in the use of LEGO Education’s Simple and Motorized Mechanisms kits. Reaching these future teachers while they are still studying the fundamentals of their career will prove extremely valuable toward reaping long term benefits toward establishing hands on STEM programs in Kenyan schools.
Teachers in the field: Train teachers who are currently teaching six grade through high school students to create STEM and robotics programs for their students. To accomplish this objective, we provided on site training in the use of LEGO MINDSTORMS robots for the teachers at seven Kenyan schools. At these trainings, we had the teachers build and program robots as well as introduce them to Machines and Mechanisms curriculum.
Kenyan students: Provide hands on robotics workshops for students in sixth grade through high school at seven Kenyan schools. Utilizing LEGO MINDSTORMS, we taught the students to build, program and test fundamental robots.
The Future of Robotics for Kenyan Schools:
To accomplish our goals and establish a long term impact for the Kenyan educational system, we established a network of one or more teachers at a Kenyan school who would serve as program coordinator(s) for the continuation of a robotics program at their school. Utilizing LEGO Educational materials, teacher training and online teacher support, they will build the foundation and operate an ongoing robotics class and/or an after school robotics enrichment program for students at their school.
If you want to see a bit about Phase 1 of this project, the introduction of STEM materials and a glance at robotics, before training in robotics was offered, here is the link to stream it.
Kenya is now working on its 3rd National FIRST LEGO League Tournament with our pilot school leading the way. I 2018 Green Garden School became the first team in all of Africa to win a FLL World Trophy.
The following year our girls from Alliance won at the Kenya tournament to represent Kenya at the World Tournament 2019.
Also in 2019 We launched a pilot program using Arduino Robots.
Engineering of the MIND
The students will be using brain wave scanners with computers and MINDSTORM Robots to learn how your brain responds to the world around you. They will conduct experiments to descover how their brain waves can control computer images, play computer games and, at the end of the week, actually drive a robot using just their brain waves! This is cutting edge technology and will probably be the only camp like it in the nation.
Engineering with ROBOTICS
Get ready for a full week of robots ruling the camp! From beginning through advanced, our robotics camps immerse the kids in the world of mechanical life forms! First time? No problem! From 1st grade through 12th, we will teach your child the basics of robotics including building and design, how to program a robot and, on the final day, show off what they learned by competing in a contest using their new found engineering skil
For the up and coming young engineer going in to 2nd and 3rd grade. Lots of fun and take home projects. Using the LEGO WeDo 1.0 set and other hands on projects to teach FUNdamentals of Engineering.