STEM GLOBAL ACTION PARTNERS WITH US EMBASSY, PROJEKT INSPIRE TO BRING STEM EDUCATION TO UNDER-RESOURCED CHILDREN IN TANZANIA
August 12, 2022
NEW ORLEANS, LA – Children in Tanzania are benefiting this summer from a partnership with STEM Global Action (SGA), which is providing teacher-training, science kits, and other resources to support a series of activities that are advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) knowledge in the African country.
In May, SGA’s Tanzanian partner, Projekt Inspire, participated in Africa Science Week, an initiative of the Next Einstein Forum that was celebrated across the continent to honor young African scientists. Projekt Inspire cited the impact of the collaboration with SGA affiliate STEM NOLA over the past five months on teacher and staff training, saying it made a “significant contribution” in preparations for the events. See the video HERE.
Further, Tanzania had a STEM teacher workshop for teachers from 15 primary schools, a science fair with about 200 children from Tanga primary schools, and virtual reality and immersive learning workshops with secondary school students. Support from SGA allowed augmented reality content to be added to the science center exhibitions. The events were officiated by the district regional education officers.
“It is exciting to watch young African brothers and sisters learning STEM skills with some of the same approaches, strategies, and tools we are using in communities here in the United States,” said Dr. Calvin Mackie, founder of SGA and STEM NOLA. “Bringing STEM activities to children, especially those in under-resourced communities and countries, is a winning strategy for everyone. We are preparing kids for career paths in STEM.”
The grant from SGA includes Tanzanian participation in monthly virtual STEMNOLA@Home sessions (April - December), one-hour of hands-on virtual learning. “We coupled our monthly virtual STEMNOLA@home Session with the Africa Science Week, where we had the Tanga children and teachers at the center to work on the materials and training we have been sharing over the months,” said Dr. Lwidiko Edward, director of Projekt Inspire. “We also had Tanga city council officials and districts/regional educational officers as part of our collaborators.”
Supported by the US Embassy, STEM NOLA was selected last year for the engagement with Tanzania after an external evaluation found that 69% of the New Orleans non-profit’s K-12 students improved their performance in math, science, and reading after one year in their afterschool program
In 2013, Dr. Mackie founded STEM NOLA and committed to bringing STEM education to neighborhood churches, community centers, and schools, especially communities that have lacked resources. His innovative approach to STEM learning has attracted support from some of America’s biggest corporations and philanthropic foundations, including the Entergy Corporation, Boeing Company, Ochsner Health System, Chevron Corporation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, AT&T Foundation, and Fund II Foundation.
A year ago, Dr. Mackie launched STEM Global Action, a campaign and network of affiliates, including STEM NOLA, which pursues STEM education for children, parents, and communities across the U.S., and abroad.
“Our work in Tanzania demonstrates that young students everywhere can be encouraged to enjoy STEM activities and create paths towards STEM jobs and careers,” Dr. Mackie said. “We have an approach that has worked in New Orleans, as well as other cities and states. It also works in other countries, like Tanzania. We are ready to advance STEM education with children and parents anywhere around the globe.”
ABOUT STEM GLOBAL ACTION
In 2013, Dr. Calvin Mackie founded STEM NOLA, a New Orleans-based, non-profit committed to expanding STEM education at churches, community centers and schools, particularly in communities of color. His goal is to make STEM education available in ALL communities. In July 2021, Dr. Mackie launched STEM Global Action, a campaign and network of affiliates, including STEM NOLA, that pursues STEM education for children, parents and communities across the U.S., and abroad. His initiatives have impacted more than 100,000 students, 20,000 families and 5,100 schools across the U.S., and in five other countries. In addition to an informative website with a data center, newsroom and newsletter, Dr. Mackie hosts the Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie podcast series. It features interviews with guests from all aspects of STEM – entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, students – who will talk about the importance of STEM in their lives today. They are the mentors for the next generation of STEM leaders, models of success for others to follow.