Technology in education for Kenyan scholars

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Boys from Alliance High study a Breadboard during the robotics training a the school (Photo by Arthur Kuwashima)
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Alliance High School has once again outmaneuvered its peer schools, hosting a mechatronics and robotics training in the country ahead of the rest.

Aimed to increase the populace of students joining college and or universities for technology courses, the training was in conjunction with an organization called Stem4Kenya that bases in Kenya and its US counterpart, Stem Education.

Speaking at the event held in the school on Monday 24th June, Steve Cline a robotics teacher at the Windsor School, USA said, “We have been honored to meet and work with so amazing students and teachers.”

The training, a peer to peer mentor program, entailed the sharing of insights by students from the Windsor High School who recently participated at a robotics competition in the US and emerged best with the team from Alliance that learned about Arduino Kits, Breadboard and general mechatronics- a technology that combines mechanics and electronics.

 

A student from Windsor High school helps his peers from Alliance in programming the Arduino Language

Working behind the brilliant idea that would help bridge the gap evident in the technology workplace, is a not-for-profit-organisation based in America with an affiliate in Kenya that was founded in May 2012, in conjunction with the LEGO Foundation and STEM for Kenya Education.

It then piloted a unique project that would put Kenyan schools at the front of innovative educational models for STEM in Africa.

Utilizing LEGO materials, including the LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot, the founders of the program, Matthew and Kathy Collier, worked with a team of Kenyan nationals and teachers in eight Kenyan schools: Alliance Boys High School, Njoro Boys High School, Precious Blood Girls High School, Larmudiac Provincial High School, Mount Kenya Academy, the Green Garden Schools, and Mustard Seed Schools.

“Education has never been the same having introduced a whole new model and curriculum for training technology courses formerly just ICT in learning, not just here in Kenya but even the US,” says Matthew Collier.

Students at Alliance admitted to the concept being relatively new but very informative. They expressed utmost gratitude and honor for having been chosen for this opportunity.

The founders of the STEM Frontier envisioned a model that would address the current projected needs of schools districts in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region by integrating Project-Based educational programs, using LEGO materials in ICT and STEM content areas.

“For long term sustainability, Kenya STEM Frontier, utilizes a system whereby cohorts of Kenyan district education professionals were recruited into an ICT/STEM program which demonstrated active use of project based or constructionism methods in the classroom using these LEGO materials,” adds Matthew

Elsewhere at the Starehe Boys Centre, students were treated to a weekend of hands-on IT experience when prominent industry professionals camped in the school on Saturday to mentor them on the technology bit of life while in and out of school.

The experts; Harry Hare, Chairman and Publisher CIO East Africa, Dr Bright Gameli, Head of Cyber Security, IS Kenya and Imran Chaudhrey, Country Manager for Fortinet East Africa among others prepared the boys for the career choices in IT.

Students and teachers from Starehe Center follow the mentorship program

Other core disciplines for the talk included Security (Cyber) or the lack of it, Internet of Things (IoT) and a myriad of other exciting explorable possibilities in the technology industry.

“One of the most efficient means of learning is based on hands-on practical training in which the trainees have the opportunity to design, build, test and finally launch their experience,” reads an anonymous quote about the impact of hands-on trainings.

Education was said to be one of the most essential virtues in the life of an individual, technology in education is proving a necessity for this essence of the society.

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