Yes, STEM can have a substantial impact on moving people in developing countries out of poverty. Developing countries working to educate the next generation in STEM receive many benefits from these classes as students receive valuable experience and skills that translate to the workforce. Unfortunately, setting up STEM lessons and classes can be difficult because of monetary costs, finding teachers, and moving past traditions.
Obinna Ukwuani, a MIT graduate, started the first STEM school in Nigeriain 2012. The program is a robotics academy geared towards teaching Nigerian children how to code and build robots. The school hires students from MIT to mentor and teach the students. As both an American and Nigerian, Ukwuani wanted to fix the imbalance between the U.S. and Nigeria as he believes the lack of education is holding Nigeria back, inspiring him to start this school.
His first Nigerian STEM school gives students the opportunity to work with different technologies such as laser cutters and 3-D printers. By 2019, Ukwuani wants to open another school called Makers Academy in Abuja. There is also international support to open STEM academies in developing countries such as India and West Africa. Investors in these academies want STEM to be thought of as fun as to encourage youth to pursue STEM based careers. We believe that promoting STEM education in developing countries can play a big role in creating job opportunities and reducing poverty.