A quarterly selection from each season’s News blogs, plus a student spotlight
Ethiopia Celebrated the 2019 National Science Fair
Reported by Tsegaye Legesse
STEM Synergy in partnership with Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Science and Higher Education ( MoSHE), the National Commission for UNESCO, the Addis Ababa Liaison Office for UNESCO, the Ethiopian Academy of Science , Kotebe Metropolitan University and others has organized a Science Fair Competition from November 5 – 10, 2019 at the Headquarters of the Ethiopian Academy of Science.
The competition was among students that have come from public and private schools all over the country. Students from the existing nine STEM centers present their work on topics including robotics, engineering and software applications. The exhibition was officially opened by Mrs. Tsion Teklu , Deputy minister of education, Professor Tsegie Woldemariam , President of Ethiopian Science Academy and Mr. Tsegaye Legesse, President of STEM Synergy. The exhibition was visited by high-profile government officials, science scholars, and the general public on the above dates from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
A total of 254 students participated in the event. Their project includes product and services that solve local problems including robotics, pharmaceutical, environmental, biomedical , transportation , business technologies and tools.
Finalists were selected by judges in the fields based on rigid rubrics . And they were rewarded with lab tops and other gifts.The Science Fair marks the World Science Day which is commemorated on November 10. Worldwide, it is used to raise awareness of the contribution of science to societies. In particular, it is used to inspire creativity and innovation among Ethiopian students.
STEM Synergy announced its major sponsor for the 2019 technology and innovation competition as being Boeing Company. It was disclosed that Boeing has awarded grants in the amount of $380,000 for STEM Synergy to carry on the science fair for the next three years. In a related news, Ethiopian Airlines is also mentioned as a a sponsor for the fair.
The event was recorded and televised by various regional and national media and TV stations in the country for millions of people.
Boeing granted $380,000 to STEM Synergy Ethiopia to Support the Annual Science Fair
STEM Synergy Opened 8 STEM Learning Centers in Ethiopia
By Tsegaye Legesse. August 2019
STEM Synergy is a non-profit organization that operates in Ethiopia since 2016. In the summer of 2019, It has opened and handed over eight mini STEM centers in different parts of the country. The new mini-STEM centers consist of two important STEM labs (the electronics and virtual computer labs). These labs are located in the university campuses but intended to benefit middle and secondary school students within the 10-mile radius of the university campuses. The labs are strategically located in the university campuses due to the availability of the basic infrastructures and qualified manpower among the Universities.
STEM Synergy spent about 1 million US dollars to purchase equipment, and furniture. STEM Synergy will continue to support two years’ salary expenses of the two lab technicians to be hired by each center. Full takeover of financing the centers will be assumed by the universities when STEM Synergy project agreement expires after two years from now.
These newly opened mini -STEM centers are located in the campuses of the following universities ( Dilla, Debremarkos, Woldia, Haramaya, Kebridahar, Ethiopian Academy of Science, Gode Polytechnic College, and Harare Municipality). STEM Synergy handed over the centers to the university officials. Close to 600,000 primary and secondary school students are estimated to benefit out of these centers. STEM Synergy president, Tsegaye Legesse and Ato Getachew Gezahign, the Country Director were present during the hand over onsite from STEM Synergy.
Each mini-STEM Center houses two basic labs : Electronics and Virtual Computers: The ‘Virtual Computer Labs” are perhaps the most visible and geographically-wide program that is offered by STEM Synergy. Our solution is not a laptop computer for every student, nor is our solution a computer for every seat in a classroom! Such expensive unrealistic fads come and go. In our experience, we’ve sadly observed high failure rates with laptops, such that after about four years nearly all of the laptops are inoperable. We’ve equally sadly observed desktop computers permanently disabled by viruses, hardware failures, obsolete operating systems, inconsistent software, and failing power conditioners and batteries. That is the reality. The STEM Synergy solution is the “Virtual Computer Lab”. Within this innovative form of computer-learning, a single computer easily runs a classroom array of 20 to 30 student workstations. Each workstation is the usual configuration of a display monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse, but missing is the workstation’s computer! Instead of connecting to a computer, the student’s monitor/keyboard/mouse is connected to a “thin client” device. (In the photos, you can see the “thin client” device that’s affixed to the back of each student display monitor.) Every “thin client” is connected (by wireless or cable) to