‘Nigeria’s challenges can be solved by STEM’

Brainiacs Stems and Robotics, a Lagos-based tech-driven company has explained that complex challenges facing Nigeria’s business environment can become a thing of the past if adequate investment is made in ensuring literacy in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

According to the firm’s Founder, Musa Mohammed, the education space in Nigeria is undergoing reforms and there is an increasing need to align what is taught in schools with the in-demand skills in industries.

In view of this, he said that STEM education is proving to be the link that solves this problem through what is known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).

“In the 21st-century workplace, technical skills alone are no longer enough to effectively battle the peculiar challenges faced by businesses and industries and employers are seeking to recruit personnel with core competence in certain skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, analytical reasoning, computation, etc. The bulk of the teaching methods used in the country is insufficient to help learners develop these skills.

“Hence, the need for STEAM; a multidisciplinary approach to learning that helps learners enjoy a holistic and robust experience that equips them with the 21st-century competence required in the workplace,” he added.

He noted further that as the world moves forward in the fourth industrial revolution and shifts into a more digitized and technology-driven economy, Nigeria must not be left behind, but as a must, be intentional about equipping our increasing youth population to be relevant in this economy.

STEM education is most effective as it uses a model of blended learning that combines traditional classroom teaching with online learning and hands-on activities.

Speaking about the reason for everyone to take interest in STEAM, he said “If we want a nation where our future leaders can understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students’ skills, content knowledge, and literacy in STEM fields is essential.”

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“STEAM classes include and are not limited to digital modeling and prototyping, 3D printing, mobile app development, computer programming, data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, game development, and others,” he stated.

Mohammed noted that a number of schools that are championing the infusion of STEAM into their ICT curriculum by utilizing Brainiacs Enhanced ICT Curriculum include Bloombreed Schools Port-Harcourt, Nigeria’s first Google Reference School, Noble-Mind Montessori School Lagos Island, and Sahel Academy Jos.

“These schools leverage the Enhanced ICT Curriculum that allows their learners to gain knowledge in core STEAM modules like Coding, Robotics, Animation, Game Development, and so on,” he said.

Mohammed further noted that some other schools have also embraced STEAM education by making STEAM clubs available in their schools, the schools include IMAAD Schools Lekki, Nigerian Ghana International School, Abuja, First Years School Anthony, and The Learning Place Lekki. In these schools, young learners are introduced to the basics of core STEAM modules.

“As Brainiacs STEM and Robotics engages the schools, most of the activities conducted in the classroom require groups and require students to work together to solve complex real-world problems. The projects also give students creative autonomy to solve problems with the educator as a guide and the curriculum as a resource. With STEAM learning, there can be many ways to solve a problem, but it’s up to the students to come together and agree upon the best way to solve it. This is an excellent way to foster collaboration in the classroom and challenge students to work together.

“STEAM education pushes students to incorporate elements of technology, computer programming, and engineering into classwork and projects. It gives them an opportunity to truly dive into exploring complex coding, engineering, and technological tasks. What separates a good STEAM solution from a great STEAM solution is one that can give students real-world applications in their work. This not only prepares them for the future working world but helps them understand why the task matters in the grand scheme of things,” he added.

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