US organisation, group provide robotics and E-STEM training to Kwara teachers and students

A non-governmental organisation called Webfala Digital Skills for All Initiative (WDSFaI) in collaboration with two US organisations, Pratt and Whitney and the North American Association for Environmental Education, have organised E-STEM (Environment, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and robotics training programmes for teachers in Kwara State.

Michael Joseph, a robotics specialist who conducted the training, gave an introduction to the field of robotics to the participating teachers on Tuesday of last week at the Ilorin training programme. He taught them about the basic hardware and software components of robots, such as LCDs, motors, and sensors.

“With the theoretical and practical knowledge received, the teachers were able to design and build some autonomous robots like an LED light bar, intruder alarm, voice-controlled LED, ultrasonic robot and temperature monitoring system, using Arduino Uno, a micro-controller platform, and reusable materials.’’

Speaking about the necessity of incorporating robotics into STEM education, Joseph claimed that technology skills like robotics and coding have the potential to transform society.

Instilling in young students a sense of curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills that will equip them for the workforce of the future was crucial, he continued.

Bakare Nafisat, the executive director of the Zebfala Digital Skills WDS-FAL, stated earlier in her remarks that teachers with little to no knowledge on robotics and E-STEM should attend the programme.

She continued by saying that it was created to give them the basic technical and practical knowledge needed to incorporate robotics and STEM education into their classroom teaching.

Following the training, teachers are supposed to impart the knowledge and skills they have learned to their students, according to Bakare.

She also revealed that her organisation has chosen 17 schools in the state to receive free robotic kits and specific training sessions for their students as part of efforts to support with the development of robotics education in Kwara.

“Additionally, we will be having a 4-weekend robotics training for children between the ages of 9 and 14. This project is made possible by the support we received from the Pratt and Whitney and North American Association for Environmental Education.

“Our aim with this project is to introduce young students to Robotics and equip with them knowledge and skills to solve problems through computational thinking and practical approach using robots,” she said.

One of the teachers, who participated in the robotics training, Mr Kareem Aduagba of Ethical College, Ilorin, expressed appreciation to the organizers and promised to impart in his students skills and knowledge he gained during the training.

Another teacher, Osundeyi Comfort from Aderoju International schools, said she was delighted to have been selected to participate in the training, which she noted had emabled her gain insights into the world or E-STEM and robotics.

The organization’s Director of Communications and Strategy, Hameed Muritala, said that the programme had in attendance 60 Information Technology, IT-inclined educators from various schools across Kwara State with the participants engaged on hands-on sessions and collaborative projects, which enabled them gain practical insights into the world of E-STEM and robotics education.