E-Lab (The Engineering Lab Africa) is a Kenya based education organisation that brings science, technology, engineering and mathematics – collectively referred to as STEM – to African students between the ages of 6 and 18. Operating out of Nairobi, E-Lab has hosted numerous classes and project days to education children about the importance of developing STEM knowledge and skills.
The Planet Earth Institute, a firm advocate for STEM education in Africa, has partnered with the E-Lab to produce a visual essay documenting the first-class STEM education practices exhibited by the E-Lab. The essay includes young Africa students using power drills to create advanced technology, demonstrating the often practical nature of E-Lab’s classes, students using computers to learn about coding and information about one project designed to improve access to education for refugees.
The organisation claims students between the ages of 6 and 13 are most likely to gain long-term benefits from the classes they run. It is at this age, says the E-Lab, that students are most ‘receptive’ to what they are being taught. The Planet Earth Institute has also created a programme focusing on young Africa students, after spending a great deal of time and resources improving higher education. The programme is called STEP and has hosted study days in Mauritius and Angola, reaching thousands of students with an important message about the benefits of learning STEM subjects.
Planet Earth Institute chairman, Dr Alvaro Sobrinho, believes STEM education will be essential if Africa is overcome its 21st Century development challenges. In an age of robotics and advanced technology, argues Dr Sobrinho, Africa students will need to learn the relevant skills to be useful in Africa’s technology driven, knowledge based economy.