STEM and Robotic movement have gathered a lot of momentum thus far. Individuals as well as organizations have established spaces where STEM education and Robotics can be engaged by a diverse demography. The establishment of these spaces, called maker spaces enhance involvement and innovation in tech. In these spaces, fun in learning across the scope of both areas hold topmost priority. Founders and facilitators have committed to achieve teaching in a more exciting way than the traditional learning methods associated with modern-day schooling. Some of the maker spaces involved with propelling STEM and Robotics are as follows.
Stem Café was launched by Bosun Tijani. It is a space where children between the ages of 5 and 18 can come around, interact, and engage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in a lively and enjoyable manner. The Co-Creation hub co-founder recognizes that the world is sporadically turning into an environment that is drastically driven by technology hence the birth of this initiative. This center is located at Plot 10, Otunba Adedoyin Ogungbe Crescent, Providence Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Some of the tools used to engage the kids include: Robotics kit, 3D printers, and Computer games. They also have access to digital labs and they are made to compete healthily in coding challenges. Highly trained STEM educators are saddled with the responsibility of infusing the kids with the adequate knowledge required for STEM education. The space is open between the hours of 12pm and 6pm during the weekdays, 10am- 6pm on Saturdays, and 2pm-6pm on Sundays. Users will however be required to pay a sum of N5000 per annum.
GTbank Playcenter: Nigeria’s First Digital Playcenter for Children
GTbank also launched a digital playground for kids. This, just like STEM café is located in Lekki, Lagos state. The recently launched center exposes children between the ages of 5 and 10 to a digital experience in three areas, namely; Sketch Town, Leggo City, and Chalkboard. Sketch Town utilizes 3D paper crafting where kids can design and bring their sketches to life. Leggo City challenges the kids with developing stories about their own fictional characters through engaging Leggo games. While Chalkboard allows for creativity and diversity of expression by the kids on the wall of Playcenter. The center is free for use but only to members who have the GTbank Smart Kids Save account. The center is operational between 10am and 2pm during weekdays, and 10am and 1pm on Saturdays. The sessions last for an hour.
Alofos is a Foundation that was established in a bid to foster participation of youths in Science and Technology. The foundation is run by a team of experts which is led by Professor O.A. Sofola. This space is located at 40, Johnson Street, off Bode Thomas, Surulere Lagos. It seeks to drive passion, spark up creativity, and promote team building among youths. Some of their more specific objectives include: Encourage debate on science and technology related issues, provide mentorship in careers related to science and technology, champion improved performance in science and technology, demystify science and technology, and make contribution to science and technology in Nigeria. Local and international programs and competition are conducted to fuel the interest of youths and some of them are: First Global Robotics Competition, and World Robotics Olympiad. It is free for children and youth to explore robotics and programming.
Brainiacs is run by Musa Mohammed and is located at 78A, Isale Eko Avenue, Dolphin Estate in Ikoyi, Lagos. Brainiacs cater for individuals between the ages of 6 and 24 and impacts STEM education in them thus keeping them better equipped to build a better future. Some of the areas in which they train the children and young adults in are: Robotics, Game Modding, Computer Programming, Application Development and Basic Electronics. This occur during private lessons that are scheduled all year round as well as organized summer camps.
Roboglobal Educational consulting is located in Surulere, Lagos and It is run by Remi Willoughby who is a Highly skilled, certified, and experienced educator with a broad perspective on learning. Over 30 years of successful teaching, curriculum designing, and implementing educational robotics in the classroom. Presenter of several professional developments to educators in the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Some of the equipment used are: VEX IQ, VEX EDR, Bee bot, REV robots, mBot. She is ready to leverage the years of positive classroom experiences in corporate training.
Evidently, there is a huge sensitization to STEM, Robotics and other related fields. The only thing left to do is to key into such development before the technology ship sails.