STEM Centers

Scaling pre-university STEM enrichment from community to national reach

 

Until recently, most students in East African schools had only books to study science&engineering, due to limited access to educational labs and real lab equipment.  The Ethiopian government had a good plan to upgrade and expand the labs in their many universitiess, but STEM education in primary and secondary schools was barely considered.

The situation dramatically changed in 2009 when the GFCT Trust (the predecessor to STEM Synergy) constructed its first special-purpose STEM Center, near a primary school in Bishoftu city, in the industrial corridor of Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa.  No multi-discipline pre-university STEM Center had ever been established in Subsahara Africa, so we created a new practical extendable building design that would house labs, administration, equipment storage, and a large auditorium suitable for science fairs and community meetings.

 

Foka-STEM-Center construction designer Ababe Eshete

The entire experience was a bold experiment.  Foka STEM Center would be built on a limited land area carved from a primary school’s playing field.  We carefully designed the building to hold four engineering labs (electronics, mechanical, optical, and computer&microcontroller.)  Once the building design was approved by the municipality, we built the structure using environmentally-friendly locally-sourced methods.  We partnered with local businesses to manufacture good-quality lab furniture.  We directly imported the lab equipment, and assembled the labs.  Our local team created the curricula, then partnered with the municipality’s education department.  Together, we recruited many interested students to attend our 10-week enrichment classes, which operated throughout the day, in harmony with the students’ school attendance and homework.

Foka Science & Engineering Center, the first STEM Center in Ethiopia

The results were so spectacular that the Foka STEM Center sent shock waves through Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education.  The government realized it now had a real replicable solution to offer hands-on STEM education to the nation.  Moreover, each site would be individually expandable, to meet the needs of the local community as well as foster local innovation.  Further, every STEM Center in this growing web could each host national forums and events.

During Foka’s initial electronics lab term, 7th graders, December 2012

To date, we have established thirteen (13) operational STEM Centers around Ethiopia, and five (5) more in neighboring countries.  From these facilities and their spin-off programs, hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, and community participants have benefitted.  We are especially proud that an equal ratio of girls and boys have participated in our STEM Center programs.  The number of labs per STEM Center ranges from two to ten.  The facility is called a “Mini-STEM Center” if it’s initially established with two engineering labs (usually electronics and virtual computer), and the host community provides the building and an available auditorium.

 

Juba University STEM Center (South Sudan), opening day, 2017

Each STEM Center performs mentoring using a combination of system-wide curricula and local specialties.  System-wide curricula includes electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer skills instruction.  Examples of local specialty curricula includes agriculture biology and space science. STEM Synergy continues to establish more STEM Centers, always searching for local vendors, increased efficiency, and coordinated feedback.

All STEM Centers are formally and legally handed over to their local associated university or community.  We feel that such handovers demonstrate true sustainability.

Ethiopia STEM and Mini-STEM Centers

#

Name of Center

City,
Region

Person in charge

        Contact

Website

Mobile

E-mail

1

Foka Science and Engineering  Center

Beshoftu, Oromiya

Anteneh Fisseha

(+251)
929933010

antfisseha@gmail.com

www.fokasciencecenter.org

2

Kallamino STEM Center

Mekele, Tigray

Daniel Tesfaye

(+251)
920864574

getwaydan@gmail.com

www.tdaint.org/index.php/kalamino_stem

3

Gondar Univ Science Center

Gondar, Amhara

Girma Workie

(+251)
918729057

workiegirma@gmail.com

gondarajjdc.wixsite.com/gondarsciencecenter

4

Bahir Dar Univ STEM Incubation center

Bahir Dar, Amhara

Dr. Tesfaye Shiferaw

(+251)
918353445

tesfayes@bdu.edu.et

www.bdu.edu.et/stem

5

AASTU Univ STEM center

Addis Ababa, chartered city

Dr. Adane

(+251) 913628761

 alebetl2000@gmail.com

www.aastu.edu.et/sm/pages/stem.html

6

Addis Ababa Science Museum

Addis Ababa, Federal

Alebachew Tilahun

(+251)
913628761

alebetl2000@gmail.com

www.aastu.edu.et/sm/pages/museum.html

7

ASTU Univ STEM center

Adama, Oromiya

Dagne Alemayehu

(+251)
911551174

dsdalemayehu@gmail.com

www.astu.edu.et

8

Hawassa  University STEM center

Hawassa, Southern (SNNPR)

Nigist Tilahun

(+251)
928684906

gtinig2009@yahoo.com

www.hwustem.org

9

Jigjiga Mini-STEM  Center

Jigjiga, Ethiopian Somali State

Yohannes Seid

(+251) 257755947

biojohn21@yahoo.com

www.jju.edu.et

10

Asaita Univ Mini-STEM Center

Asaita,
Afar

Mohamed Ali

(+251)
921326139

alimgt2012@yahoo.com

www.facebook.com/Mohammed-Hanfere-School-STEM-Center-1723851311237296

11

Assosa Univ Mini-STEM Center

Asossa, Beneshangul

Dr. Haymanot

(+251) 921816020

hamadis2012@gmail.com

www.asu.edu.et

12

Wollega Univ STEM center

Nekemet, Oromiya

Dr. Tifsehit Solomon

Amayou Belissa

(+251) 930300124

  (+251) 922224949

tifsehits@gmail.com

bamayou@gmail.com

www.wollegauniversity.edu.et

13

Kotebe Univ Science Shared Campus

Addis Ababa
chartered city

Dr. Sileshi Yitbarek

(+251)
911634301

sile_y@yahoo.com

www.kmu.edu.et/index.php/news/170-science-shared-campus

14

Liqa School Mini STEM Center 

Sodo,
Wolaita

Asefa Goa

(+251)
916582355

goa.ase@gmail.com

wolaittada.org/wls.html

15

Ethiopia Academy of Sciences

Addis Ababa
chartered city

Masresha Fetene(+251)
935987641
masresha.fetene@eas-et.orgeas-et.org/

16

Addis Ababa Institute of Technology

Addis Ababa
chartered city

Yalemzewd Negash(+251)
911233241
yalemzewdn@yahoo.comwww.aait.edu.et/

17

Debremarkos STEM Center

Debremarkos, Amhara

Dr. Tafere Melaku
(Univ president)
(+251)
9290777
mihretalemayehu@gmail.comhttp://www.dmu.edu.et
18

Dilla U
STEM Center

Dilla, Souhern (SNNPR)Dr. Firehiwot Endal
(R&T Xfer VP)
(+251)
930507192   – or – 982003791
Fendale76@gmail.comhttp://portal.du.edu.et
19

Haramaya U
STEM Center

 Dire Dawa chartered cityDr. Asfaw Kebede
(Asst Prof Hydrology & Water Engnrng)
(+251)
912441024
Asfaw649@gmail.comhttp://www.haramaya.edu.et
20

Gode Polytch
STEM Center

Gode,
Ethiopian Somali
Mohamed Abdi
(Dean)
(+251)
0915747716
Nigeriagodey12@gmail.com 

21

Kebridahar U STEM CenterKebri Dahar,
Ethiopian Somali
Abdulfeta Ahmed
(VP Admin)
(+251)
911268822
raabbiyey@gmail.com https://kdu.edu.et

22

Harar  STEM Center

 Harar.
Harari
Afendi Abdulwasi
(Educ Bureau)
 (+251)
256661889
afendiabdulwasi@yahoo.com 
 22

Woldiya U STEM Center

Woldiya,
Semien Wollo
Dr. Dawit Melese
(VP Research)
 (+251)
935990957
dawit@post.bgu.ac.il 

NOTE : All of the STEM Centers listed above were created and funded by STEM Synergy’s founder by Gelfand Family Charitable Trust, which preceded STEM Synergy. The STEM Centers were subsequently donated to their respective municipalities or universities. STEM Synergy’s role is mainly to coordinate those Centers’ activities and support the last eight mini -STEM centers for the coming two years.