From 2016-2017, Wahjay-STEM, a non-profit supporting STEM curriculum in Liberia, formed a partnership with the Nyonblee Cares Foundation to pilot a 9-month in-school robotics program at the World Wide Mission Academy in Liberia, West Africa. Wahjay-STEM provided teachers with comprehensive training on delivering the robotics curriculum to students and familiarized students with advanced vocabulary, hands-on robot construction, and computer programming. As a result, Wahjay-STEM and the Nyonblee Cares Foundation hosted Liberia’s first national robotics competition in March of 2017.
And now Liberia will be represented for the first time ever at the VEX Robotics Worlds Championship 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky, and students Dyutoe Blaye, Samuel Gayne, Nyundeh Gorwor, Babygirl Jacobs, and Blojay Moore will be making the trip! The VEX Robotics Worlds Championship is known as the ‘Olympics of Robotics’, where students, coaches, and guardians come from 31+ different countries, spanning from China to Bahrain to England to the USA.
Most of Liberia’s STEM-based jobs are outsourced from other countries because locally, we do not have the skillset required to perform at this time. A strategic plan on how to develop Liberia’s future workforce should heavily depend on STEM education. Wahjay-STEM understands that we most invest in our students’ STEM education to produce the doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, and people in business. Countries, like the USA, are spending billions of dollars in STEM education and workforce development because the 21st-century skills demanded are in understanding computer coding and the logic of technology based on the foundations of mathematics and science. As technology advances, the average career will require an understanding of that technology. In the past five years, technology has been well enhanced. Imagine how much further technology will be in the next 2-5 years. Wahjay-STEM’s plan is not to leave Liberia behind.
Wahjay-STEM has an objective to expand the same 9-month program into every school that teachers 4-6th grade in Liberia, West Africa. Wahjay wants Liberian students to start dreaming if they haven’t started, and to have resources available to them to pursue dreams that they have. Wahjay trains teachers and provides orientation for students to prepare them for the Wahjay-STEM in-school curriculum.
The Nyonblee Cares Foundation is focused on getting people in the country involved with community service; teaching cleanliness and personal hygiene, youth empowerment through scholarships, enrichment programs and developing talents of young children, and adult literacy programs.
Watch this mini-documentary below to learn more about these students’ incredible story!
This is a guest blog post from Giewee Giah, CEO & Founder of Wahjay-STEM, as well as a participating mentor with Million Women Mentors!