STEMpower News

GFCT-STEMpower inaugurated Ethiopia’s 25th STEM Center at Debre Birhan University

GFCT-STEMpower officially inaugurated Ethiopia’s 25th STEM Center at Debre Birhan University on November 13, 2019, in the presence of Mr. Mark Gelfand, founder of GFCT-STEMpower along with Debre Birhan University academic staffs and community.

Mr. Mark Gelfand, Founder, Mrs. Kidist Gebreamlak, President, Debre Birhan University Staff, and Visitors from Cultivaid

Debre Birhan University is one of the Public Universities in Ethiopia, established in 2005 by the Ethiopian government at Debre Birhan city, located in the Semen Showa Zone of the Amhara Regional State, about 130 kilometers north-east of Addis Ababa. Currently, the university provides undergraduate and postgraduate studies for more than 30,000 students on a regular, extension, and summer programs. The STEM Center at the University will have a vital role in providing hands-on STEM education for students at the university and nearby schools.

Students, practicing their projects using GFCT-STEMpower's hands-on STEM Lab

As part of its vision for a technologically-developed, economically independent, and self-sustaining Ethiopia-Africa, GFCT-STEMpower is progressively stretching its practical STEM programs across Ethiopia and Sub-Sharan Africa, to reach pre-university students in urban cities and remote areas to nurture the scientist in every child. 

So far, GFCT-STEMpower has built a network of Schools and STEM Centers that provide STEM enrichment and enhancement programs for thousands of pre-university and pre-college students each year to thrive and prepare their future careers.

Inside every child is a scientist.

Nurture that scientist, you will change the world.  Support our STEM programs in Africa and be part of Africa’s development endeavor.

For more GFCT-STEMpower news, visit our website. www.stempower.org

Please subscribe to our You Tube TV channel: STEMpower Ethiopia, each episode includes a face of Ethiopian culture along with a story about our STEM Centers, Projects, related industries, or agro-tech.

For more info: info@stempower.org

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GFCT-STEMpower inaugurated Ethiopia’s 24th STEM Center at Wollo University

GFCT-STEMpower officially inaugurated Ethiopia’s 24th STEM Center, this latest Center at Wollo University on November 12, 2019.  Wollo University is nestled high into the mountains of Amhara regional state.  The new STEM Center is equipped with electronics and virtual computer labs with more labs to be added in the coming years.  The Center will be run by STEMpower in partnership with the Wollo University, providing hands-on STEM education & innovation for students at the university and pre-college.

Mr. Mark Gelfand, Founder, Mrs. Kidist Gebreamlak, President, & Wollo University Staff

As it did for more than a decade, GFCT-STEMpower will continue to establish more STEM centers across Ethiopia to enrich pre-university students.  With its advanced labs and project-based learning environment, the organization foster students, innovators and job creators.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Mengesha Ayene, Academic Affairs Vice President at Wollo University, noted that the university was established in 1997. In 2019, the University grew its capacity and enrolled over 28,000 students. He further highlighted that having a STEM center on the university grounds will greatly contribute to its vision and mission, specifically in pursuing practical engineering and science education provided by hands-on labs.

During the inauguration, Mr. Mark Gelfand, Founder of GFCT-STEMpower shared the history of GFCT-STEMpower and pointed out the impacts of hands-on STEM labs in inspiring engineers, innovators and tech-industrialists who would contribute to Ethiopia’s technology and economic development. GFCT-STEMpower has been the guiding vision behind all of the STEM Centers, the initial funder, the main procurer of lab equipment, and donor of specialized lab furniture. Thereafter the Ethiopian government sustains the Centers into perpetuity. 

In addition to opening STEM centers in Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan Africa, GFCT-STEMpower is venturing into Incubation Acceleration, where innovators will be trained in Entrepreneurship, Human-Centered Design-Thinking and other relevant themes, as well as get legal, technical, and financial support to produce viable prototypes to attract tech-investors, in partnership with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MiNT) and GFCT -STEMpower collaborators.  GFCT-STEMpower is creating a value chain of experiential STEM Education, Innovation, Industrialization and Job Creation.

GFCT-STEMpower envision a country where engineers innovate goods and services beyond meeting the local in-country demand for advanced 21st century tech-industrial output and export.

"Inside every child is a scientist." Mark Gelfand

Read More

Juba STEM Center Repaired and Operational

The Gelfand Family Trust has established the Juba STEM Center in November 2017. Unfortunately, the solar power system never worked reliably and couldn’t start accepting students in a timely manner.

Operating a STEM Center within the largest university in South Sudan is a multi-faceted challenge. Challenges include no utility electric power, few suitable buildings, currency inflation, equipment shortage, and remoteness.

In September 2019, STEMpower had partially solved those challenges, by constructing spacious buildings that include six STEM labs, an auditorium, and a vocational training center, as well as sending a container of technical lab equipment. Meanwhile, STEMpower and friends of GFCT team tackled the electrical power situation, and also erected an automobile repair garage roof.

Three months ago, the STEMpower team took charge and engineered a simpler, more understandable, and more redundant solar power electronics design. We engaged SunGate Solar (https://sungatesolarsolutions.com), a local South Sudanese company specializing in solar power systems, to professionally implement the new design.

Finally, we were able to experience a moment of joy as the STEM Center’s 400 solar panels of electric power finally operated properly, and the ceiling lights and power outlets came on!

Juba University is now being transformed into a technically proficient University. Students are now enjoying their lab-oriented class at the STEM Center. Other NGOs operating in Juba are also using the facility for various educational purposes.

Special thanks to Juba University Vice Chancellor John Akec, who resolved various situations at the University, and to Andrew Anda, director of the Juba University STEM & Vocational Center.

Currently, STEMpower and Juba teams are overseeing a replacement of the automobile repair garage (destroyed during high winds), as well as overheating in the solar battery containers.

There are more South Sudanese engineering-oriented universities in need of STEM Centers. STEMpower looks for partners who share the vision towards a technologically-developed, economically-independent, and self-sustaining Africa. Together, we will implement to repair the country.

STEM for everyone in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan!

To learn more about our work, please visit STEMpower.org
Please subscribe to our YouTube channel: STEMpower Ethiopia

_____________
Technical Notes:

Note #1) STEMpower and SunGater re-arranged the Juba University STEM Center’s solar power circuitry into six independent strings of solar PV panels. Each PV string now drives a battery charger-controller and three inverters. Each inverter is capable of independently generating 8 kilowatts of AC power. Thus, each of the 18 independent redundant power generators can be switched in and out, as needed. We rejected the modern-but-complicating solar power concept of “AC coupling”, because there is no AC utility power in South Sudan to couple to!

Note #2) Our flexible distributive electrical engineering design let us pursue innovations. As an example, we envision transforming excess solar power into industrial 3-phase power, for welding and heavy machinery in the automobile repair garage. Because the 150 kilowatts of modifiable solar power circuitry can now be further re-configured, our solar power generator itself serves as an object of STEM study.

Note #3) STEMpower’s many solar power experiences have confirmed the biggest problem of remote African solar power generation: the storage batteries. STEMpower’s ongoing relationship with the Chemical Engineering department of Case CWRU University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) has the fortuitous side benefit of looking into practical battery alternatives. Moreover, our STEM curriculum now includes hands-on student participation into that exploration.

Read More

STEMpower Inaugurated a New STEM Center in the Capital City of Ethiopia

STEMpower officially inaugurated a new STEM Center at the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology ("AAIT"), on July 12, 2019. AAIT is located in Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa, a major hub of Africa.More than a decade ago, STEMpower founders established the first STEM Center called Foka Science and Engineering Center, in Bishoftu city, an hour drive from the capital. From humble beginnings, the STEMpower team has been steadily operating diverse STEM programs across Ethiopia and nearby countries. AAIT STEM Center joins the growing array of STEM Centers funded and equipped by STEMpower founders and its charity trust GFCT.

Addis Ababa Institute of Technology ("AAIT") was Ethiopia's first engineering institution, established in 1953 as the Imperial College of Engineering. Now an independent member of Addis Ababa University ("AAU"), AAIT operates five undergraduate schools of engineering:

  • Civil and environmental engineering
  • Electrical and computer engineering
  • Mechanical and industrial engineering
  • Chemical and bio-engineering, and
  • Pre-engineering

In addition, AAIT is training lecturers and researchers at Masters and Phd levels.

AAIT STEM Center was officially inaugurated by many dignitaries, who spoke to the first cohort of students attending the new STEM Center. Dignitaries included:

  • Dr. Solomon Benor, research affairs director, Ethiopian Ministry of
  • Science and Higher Education (MoSHE)
  • Dr. Matiwos Ensermu, vice president, AAU.
  • Dr. Esayas Gebreyohannes, scientific director, AAIT.
  • Dr. Birhanemeskel, president, Kotebe Metropolitan University
  • Dr. Esayas Gebreyohannes, scientific director, AAIT
  • Dr. Solomon, senior official, MoSHE.
  • Dr. Birhanemeskel, senior official, Kotebe

The official opening ceremonies were followed by a visit to the AAIT STEM Center's first operational program, called University STEM Outreach. That national program began five years ago by STEMpower founders. The outreach program operates at nearly all Ethiopian 45 universities as an educational enrichment service to their respective catchment communities.

AAIT STEM's University STEM Outreach program is hosting 80 interested students from nearby neighborhood schools. Those students are now preparing their innovative projects for Ethiopia's fourth annual National Science Fair, held every November 10. At the Science Fair, the AAIT STEM students will compete with other STEM-interested students from around the nation.

In addition, STEMPower has been serving as coordinator with AAIT STEM Center to establish an innovative Chemical and Biochemical Engineering lab, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel "STEMpower Ethiopia" to view more of our activities and innovations.

Read More

Case University – STEMpower – Ethiopia STEM Initiative

STEMpower envisions a technologically-developed, economically-independent, and self-sustaining Ethiopia-Africa. The organization continuously stretches its hand to reach pre-university students in urban cities as well as in remote areas of Ethiopia to cultivate the scientist in every child. STEMpower brought key allies in realizing its vision effectively and efficiently such as the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) known as case University. Case University is a major US university located in Cleveland, Ohio. This historic engineering school has been developing a Chemical Engineering curriculum applicable for Ethiopian STEM Centers funded and established by the Gelfand Family Charity Trust (GFCT) - STEMpower

In March 2019, a team from Case University visited four STEM Centers, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT), Gondar University, Bahir Dar University, and Foka-Bishoftu Center, in the Central and Northern part of Ethiopia to demonstrated the lab coursework and to get feedback on the curriculum. Each visit included a lab demonstration of saponification - the making of soap from plant-based materials.

The Case Western University acknowledged the dedication and work of the founder of GFCT-STEMpower as follows (www.case.edu). 

The initiative is funded by a commitment from philanthropist Mark Gelfand, who previously endowed Case Western Reserve’s Leonard Gelfand STEM Center in honor of his uncle, who attended the former Case Institute of Technology and graduated as an electrical engineer.

Throughout Ethiopia, Gelfand has built a network of 30 schools and STEM centers that provide high-quality education for thousands of students each year. The initiative will partner with this network, to have a widespread impact. 

By all accounts, the visit exceeded the team’s expectations. Hundreds of pre-university students at the STEM Centers were highly engaged with the experiment. Students also raised many questions which led to further discussion and modification of the Chemistry Engineering curriculum. 

On a larger scale, the visit served as the kick-off for the Case University Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative, which will involve Ethiopian STEM Centers and Universities.  We hope the initiative will expand to other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Read More

First Welcome – Gondar EEWB Conference, December 2018

Welcome to the STEMpower community. We are the innovative nonprofit that is bringing STEM enrichment across Ethiopia and Sub -Saharan African countries. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The story of STEMpower began thirteen years ago in Ethiopia, as an exploratory initiative by the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust (“GFCT”). At the time, Ethiopian universities were just beginning to add engineering and science lab curricula. The GFCT believed that their best impact would be to educate pre-university students, offering them hands-on lab-based STEM education.

Implementation wasn’t easy. Establishing a STEM Center was a lengthy process with daunting sequence of steps: securing permits, constructing the buildings, importing the lab equipment, hiring the lab mentors, and enrolling the students. Moreover, there were no models of pre-university STEM enrichment curricula to work from.

Yet within a few years, we were creating a national network of STEM Centers and programs.The founders of STEMpower have been involved in 22 pre-university STEM Centers in Ethiopia.

Today our role is to identify, fund, research, and extend the concept of hands-on STEM learning programs. We then help in various capacities the permanent academic stakeholders (typically universities and government education sites) sustainably operate their STEM Centers.

A recent example of our work: 

Gondar University STEM Center – EEWB Conference

In December 2018, STEMpower sponsored a science conference organized by the Ethiopian Educators Without Borders at the University of Gondar. 

Gondar, a city in the mountainous Ethiopian north, is the site of castles and iconic churches.

Gondar is also the site of Gondar STEM Center, the STEMpower founders’ third in what has become a national network of hands-on lab-based pre-university STEM learning centers.

A decade ago, STEMpower‘s founders visited the historically-Jewish area, as well as Gondar University. The University had plans to construct engineering labs on their large campus. STEMpower‘s founders realized that incoming classes of lab-experienced freshman students would contribute to the University’s education effectiveness. Gondar’s municipal authorities stepped in and helped us construct a compound of three lab-friendly buildings to serve as the future Gondar STEM Center. We then furnished lab equipment, lab furniture, and multiple years of support assistance to begin operations. Since then, their Center continues to be strong, and has become a proud asset of the University.

In December 2018, the Gondar chapter of Ethiopian Educator's Without Borders hosted their annual conference at the center. The gathering at the STEM Center vividly demonstrated student innovations, engineering & robotics education, and academic presentations. Many pre-University students in Gondar University’s catchment area attended and were inspired to join the STEM movement.

Our next STEM Center, the 23rd in Ethiopia, will be located in Burayu, west of Addis Ababa. Burayu Talented Youth Academy is a massive project by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

We are honored that our STEM education movement has been fully adopted nationally by Ethiopian stakeholders: The national government ministries, the regional state governments, the municipal education bureaus, the public universities, the students and their families, and beyond.

Welcome to


Read More

STEMpower News

GFCT-STEMpower inaugurated Ethiopia’s 25th STEM Center at Debre Birhan University

GFCT-STEMpower officially inaugurated Ethiopia’s 25th STEM Center at Debre Birhan University on November 13, 2019, in the presence of Mr. Mark Gelfand, founder of GFCT-STEMpower along with Debre Birhan University academic staffs and community.

Mr. Mark Gelfand, Founder, Mrs. Kidist Gebreamlak, President, Debre Birhan University Staff, and Visitors from Cultivaid

Debre Birhan University is one of the Public Universities in Ethiopia, established in 2005 by the Ethiopian government at Debre Birhan city, located in the Semen Showa Zone of the Amhara Regional State, about 130 kilometers north-east of Addis Ababa. Currently, the university provides undergraduate and postgraduate studies for more than 30,000 students on a regular, extension, and summer programs. The STEM Center at the University will have a vital role in providing hands-on STEM education for students at the university and nearby schools.

Students, practicing their projects using GFCT-STEMpower's hands-on STEM Lab

As part of its vision for a technologically-developed, economically independent, and self-sustaining Ethiopia-Africa, GFCT-STEMpower is progressively stretching its practical STEM programs across Ethiopia and Sub-Sharan Africa, to reach pre-university students in urban cities and remote areas to nurture the scientist in every child. 

So far, GFCT-STEMpower has built a network of Schools and STEM Centers that provide STEM enrichment and enhancement programs for thousands of pre-university and pre-college students each year to thrive and prepare their future careers.

Inside every child is a scientist.

Nurture that scientist, you will change the world.  Support our STEM programs in Africa and be part of Africa’s development endeavor.

For more GFCT-STEMpower news, visit our website. www.stempower.org

Please subscribe to our You Tube TV channel: STEMpower Ethiopia, each episode includes a face of Ethiopian culture along with a story about our STEM Centers, Projects, related industries, or agro-tech.

For more info: info@stempower.org

Read More

GFCT-STEMpower inaugurated Ethiopia’s 24th STEM Center at Wollo University

GFCT-STEMpower officially inaugurated Ethiopia’s 24th STEM Center, this latest Center at Wollo University on November 12, 2019.  Wollo University is nestled high into the mountains of Amhara regional state.  The new STEM Center is equipped with electronics and virtual computer labs with more labs to be added in the coming years.  The Center will be run by STEMpower in partnership with the Wollo University, providing hands-on STEM education & innovation for students at the university and pre-college.

Mr. Mark Gelfand, Founder, Mrs. Kidist Gebreamlak, President, & Wollo University Staff

As it did for more than a decade, GFCT-STEMpower will continue to establish more STEM centers across Ethiopia to enrich pre-university students.  With its advanced labs and project-based learning environment, the organization foster students, innovators and job creators.

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Mengesha Ayene, Academic Affairs Vice President at Wollo University, noted that the university was established in 1997. In 2019, the University grew its capacity and enrolled over 28,000 students. He further highlighted that having a STEM center on the university grounds will greatly contribute to its vision and mission, specifically in pursuing practical engineering and science education provided by hands-on labs.

During the inauguration, Mr. Mark Gelfand, Founder of GFCT-STEMpower shared the history of GFCT-STEMpower and pointed out the impacts of hands-on STEM labs in inspiring engineers, innovators and tech-industrialists who would contribute to Ethiopia’s technology and economic development. GFCT-STEMpower has been the guiding vision behind all of the STEM Centers, the initial funder, the main procurer of lab equipment, and donor of specialized lab furniture. Thereafter the Ethiopian government sustains the Centers into perpetuity. 

In addition to opening STEM centers in Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan Africa, GFCT-STEMpower is venturing into Incubation Acceleration, where innovators will be trained in Entrepreneurship, Human-Centered Design-Thinking and other relevant themes, as well as get legal, technical, and financial support to produce viable prototypes to attract tech-investors, in partnership with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MiNT) and GFCT -STEMpower collaborators.  GFCT-STEMpower is creating a value chain of experiential STEM Education, Innovation, Industrialization and Job Creation.

GFCT-STEMpower envision a country where engineers innovate goods and services beyond meeting the local in-country demand for advanced 21st century tech-industrial output and export.

"Inside every child is a scientist." Mark Gelfand

Read More

Juba STEM Center Repaired and Operational

The Gelfand Family Trust has established the Juba STEM Center in November 2017. Unfortunately, the solar power system never worked reliably and couldn’t start accepting students in a timely manner.

Operating a STEM Center within the largest university in South Sudan is a multi-faceted challenge. Challenges include no utility electric power, few suitable buildings, currency inflation, equipment shortage, and remoteness.

In September 2019, STEMpower had partially solved those challenges, by constructing spacious buildings that include six STEM labs, an auditorium, and a vocational training center, as well as sending a container of technical lab equipment. Meanwhile, STEMpower and friends of GFCT team tackled the electrical power situation, and also erected an automobile repair garage roof.

Three months ago, the STEMpower team took charge and engineered a simpler, more understandable, and more redundant solar power electronics design. We engaged SunGate Solar (https://sungatesolarsolutions.com), a local South Sudanese company specializing in solar power systems, to professionally implement the new design.

Finally, we were able to experience a moment of joy as the STEM Center’s 400 solar panels of electric power finally operated properly, and the ceiling lights and power outlets came on!

Juba University is now being transformed into a technically proficient University. Students are now enjoying their lab-oriented class at the STEM Center. Other NGOs operating in Juba are also using the facility for various educational purposes.

Special thanks to Juba University Vice Chancellor John Akec, who resolved various situations at the University, and to Andrew Anda, director of the Juba University STEM & Vocational Center.

Currently, STEMpower and Juba teams are overseeing a replacement of the automobile repair garage (destroyed during high winds), as well as overheating in the solar battery containers.

There are more South Sudanese engineering-oriented universities in need of STEM Centers. STEMpower looks for partners who share the vision towards a technologically-developed, economically-independent, and self-sustaining Africa. Together, we will implement to repair the country.

STEM for everyone in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan!

To learn more about our work, please visit STEMpower.org
Please subscribe to our YouTube channel: STEMpower Ethiopia

_____________
Technical Notes:

Note #1) STEMpower and SunGater re-arranged the Juba University STEM Center’s solar power circuitry into six independent strings of solar PV panels. Each PV string now drives a battery charger-controller and three inverters. Each inverter is capable of independently generating 8 kilowatts of AC power. Thus, each of the 18 independent redundant power generators can be switched in and out, as needed. We rejected the modern-but-complicating solar power concept of “AC coupling”, because there is no AC utility power in South Sudan to couple to!

Note #2) Our flexible distributive electrical engineering design let us pursue innovations. As an example, we envision transforming excess solar power into industrial 3-phase power, for welding and heavy machinery in the automobile repair garage. Because the 150 kilowatts of modifiable solar power circuitry can now be further re-configured, our solar power generator itself serves as an object of STEM study.

Note #3) STEMpower’s many solar power experiences have confirmed the biggest problem of remote African solar power generation: the storage batteries. STEMpower’s ongoing relationship with the Chemical Engineering department of Case CWRU University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) has the fortuitous side benefit of looking into practical battery alternatives. Moreover, our STEM curriculum now includes hands-on student participation into that exploration.

Read More

STEMpower Inaugurated a New STEM Center in the Capital City of Ethiopia

STEMpower officially inaugurated a new STEM Center at the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology ("AAIT"), on July 12, 2019. AAIT is located in Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa, a major hub of Africa.More than a decade ago, STEMpower founders established the first STEM Center called Foka Science and Engineering Center, in Bishoftu city, an hour drive from the capital. From humble beginnings, the STEMpower team has been steadily operating diverse STEM programs across Ethiopia and nearby countries. AAIT STEM Center joins the growing array of STEM Centers funded and equipped by STEMpower founders and its charity trust GFCT.

Addis Ababa Institute of Technology ("AAIT") was Ethiopia's first engineering institution, established in 1953 as the Imperial College of Engineering. Now an independent member of Addis Ababa University ("AAU"), AAIT operates five undergraduate schools of engineering:

  • Civil and environmental engineering
  • Electrical and computer engineering
  • Mechanical and industrial engineering
  • Chemical and bio-engineering, and
  • Pre-engineering

In addition, AAIT is training lecturers and researchers at Masters and Phd levels.

AAIT STEM Center was officially inaugurated by many dignitaries, who spoke to the first cohort of students attending the new STEM Center. Dignitaries included:

  • Dr. Solomon Benor, research affairs director, Ethiopian Ministry of
  • Science and Higher Education (MoSHE)
  • Dr. Matiwos Ensermu, vice president, AAU.
  • Dr. Esayas Gebreyohannes, scientific director, AAIT.
  • Dr. Birhanemeskel, president, Kotebe Metropolitan University
  • Dr. Esayas Gebreyohannes, scientific director, AAIT
  • Dr. Solomon, senior official, MoSHE.
  • Dr. Birhanemeskel, senior official, Kotebe

The official opening ceremonies were followed by a visit to the AAIT STEM Center's first operational program, called University STEM Outreach. That national program began five years ago by STEMpower founders. The outreach program operates at nearly all Ethiopian 45 universities as an educational enrichment service to their respective catchment communities.

AAIT STEM's University STEM Outreach program is hosting 80 interested students from nearby neighborhood schools. Those students are now preparing their innovative projects for Ethiopia's fourth annual National Science Fair, held every November 10. At the Science Fair, the AAIT STEM students will compete with other STEM-interested students from around the nation.

In addition, STEMPower has been serving as coordinator with AAIT STEM Center to establish an innovative Chemical and Biochemical Engineering lab, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

Please subscribe to our YouTube Channel "STEMpower Ethiopia" to view more of our activities and innovations.

Read More

Case University – STEMpower – Ethiopia STEM Initiative

STEMpower envisions a technologically-developed, economically-independent, and self-sustaining Ethiopia-Africa. The organization continuously stretches its hand to reach pre-university students in urban cities as well as in remote areas of Ethiopia to cultivate the scientist in every child. STEMpower brought key allies in realizing its vision effectively and efficiently such as the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) known as case University. Case University is a major US university located in Cleveland, Ohio. This historic engineering school has been developing a Chemical Engineering curriculum applicable for Ethiopian STEM Centers funded and established by the Gelfand Family Charity Trust (GFCT) - STEMpower

In March 2019, a team from Case University visited four STEM Centers, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT), Gondar University, Bahir Dar University, and Foka-Bishoftu Center, in the Central and Northern part of Ethiopia to demonstrated the lab coursework and to get feedback on the curriculum. Each visit included a lab demonstration of saponification - the making of soap from plant-based materials.

The Case Western University acknowledged the dedication and work of the founder of GFCT-STEMpower as follows (www.case.edu). 

The initiative is funded by a commitment from philanthropist Mark Gelfand, who previously endowed Case Western Reserve’s Leonard Gelfand STEM Center in honor of his uncle, who attended the former Case Institute of Technology and graduated as an electrical engineer.

Throughout Ethiopia, Gelfand has built a network of 30 schools and STEM centers that provide high-quality education for thousands of students each year. The initiative will partner with this network, to have a widespread impact. 

By all accounts, the visit exceeded the team’s expectations. Hundreds of pre-university students at the STEM Centers were highly engaged with the experiment. Students also raised many questions which led to further discussion and modification of the Chemistry Engineering curriculum. 

On a larger scale, the visit served as the kick-off for the Case University Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative, which will involve Ethiopian STEM Centers and Universities.  We hope the initiative will expand to other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Read More

First Welcome – Gondar EEWB Conference, December 2018

Welcome to the STEMpower community. We are the innovative nonprofit that is bringing STEM enrichment across Ethiopia and Sub -Saharan African countries. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The story of STEMpower began thirteen years ago in Ethiopia, as an exploratory initiative by the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust (“GFCT”). At the time, Ethiopian universities were just beginning to add engineering and science lab curricula. The GFCT believed that their best impact would be to educate pre-university students, offering them hands-on lab-based STEM education.

Implementation wasn’t easy. Establishing a STEM Center was a lengthy process with daunting sequence of steps: securing permits, constructing the buildings, importing the lab equipment, hiring the lab mentors, and enrolling the students. Moreover, there were no models of pre-university STEM enrichment curricula to work from.

Yet within a few years, we were creating a national network of STEM Centers and programs.The founders of STEMpower have been involved in 22 pre-university STEM Centers in Ethiopia.

Today our role is to identify, fund, research, and extend the concept of hands-on STEM learning programs. We then help in various capacities the permanent academic stakeholders (typically universities and government education sites) sustainably operate their STEM Centers.

A recent example of our work: 

Gondar University STEM Center – EEWB Conference

In December 2018, STEMpower sponsored a science conference organized by the Ethiopian Educators Without Borders at the University of Gondar. 

Gondar, a city in the mountainous Ethiopian north, is the site of castles and iconic churches.

Gondar is also the site of Gondar STEM Center, the STEMpower founders’ third in what has become a national network of hands-on lab-based pre-university STEM learning centers.

A decade ago, STEMpower‘s founders visited the historically-Jewish area, as well as Gondar University. The University had plans to construct engineering labs on their large campus. STEMpower‘s founders realized that incoming classes of lab-experienced freshman students would contribute to the University’s education effectiveness. Gondar’s municipal authorities stepped in and helped us construct a compound of three lab-friendly buildings to serve as the future Gondar STEM Center. We then furnished lab equipment, lab furniture, and multiple years of support assistance to begin operations. Since then, their Center continues to be strong, and has become a proud asset of the University.

In December 2018, the Gondar chapter of Ethiopian Educator's Without Borders hosted their annual conference at the center. The gathering at the STEM Center vividly demonstrated student innovations, engineering & robotics education, and academic presentations. Many pre-University students in Gondar University’s catchment area attended and were inspired to join the STEM movement.

Our next STEM Center, the 23rd in Ethiopia, will be located in Burayu, west of Addis Ababa. Burayu Talented Youth Academy is a massive project by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

We are honored that our STEM education movement has been fully adopted nationally by Ethiopian stakeholders: The national government ministries, the regional state governments, the municipal education bureaus, the public universities, the students and their families, and beyond.

Welcome to


Read More