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Sustainability and Adoption of STEM Education Curriculum (Report) | Claude Tomoh

Given my passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and as an advocate, I was fortunate to have been selected to attend the four-day STEM Training

Workshop organized by STEM IGNITE-Cameroon and STARBASE-USA.

This training focused on the theme "Sustainability and Adoption of STEM Education Curriculum". We were taught how to effectively incorporate the STEM approach into learning and teaching. There was also more elaboration on the engineering design process in STEM, which is the process of creating and building structures, products, and systems by using mathematics and science. This makes learners able to apply scientific methods in solving problems in society.

On the third day of the workshop, we had an overview of project-based instruction as a central pillar of the STEM approach to learning delivered by one of the participants, Ngan Sylvester Yengo. We then had a brainstorming session led by Emmanuel Fru, where we had various prompts to develop action plans around sustainable delivery and adoption of STEM in Cameroon. The STARBASE team in the US walks us through the various modes of effectively delivering and gauging the level of assimilation of STEM lessons with students. We witnessed lesson demonstrations and delivery walk-throughs that helped paint the picture. This involves;

  • Starting lessons by giving the students a problem to solve.

  • Using visual representations, pictures, charts, graphs, and note organizers in classrooms

  • assigning them to work in teams both in classrooms and at home.

  • Using the scaffold approach, which breaks down tasks for students to better understand,

Most students understand better when written notes are converted into demonstrations.

The last part of the workshop was more focused on practical approaches STEM could incorporate for effective teaching and learning. This involves using platforms such as Onshape for education, which enables learners to design and come up with creative projects that can solve problems in society. Also, using computer-aided design software such as TinkerCAD exposes the learner to creativity and an approach to problem-solving.

Given our educational system and learning curriculum, which focus more on teaching students how to pass exams than how to solve real-life problems, many students working on the streets are jobless after many years of education just because of the poor educational system they went through.

Adopting the STEM approach in our educational system, which is predominantly practised in the US, will be a great transformation in our educational system.

There will be a great shift from an examination-centered learning base to a project-based problem-solving system.

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the organizers, Emmanuel Fru, Founder and Program Director of STEM IGNITE, Cameroon, and Tiffany Young, Program Director of STARBASE, High Sierra, Nevada, USA, for organising this training.

- Claude Tomoh | Open Dreams

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