GFCT-STEMpower co-organized the fourth Annual Ethiopian Science and Engineering Fair competition, held November 6-10, 2019, at the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, located in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The event (synchronized with World Science Day) brought together 254 diverse and talented Ethiopian students, representing all regional states. Those students learn their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills at the nation’s ever-increasing number of STEM Centers, as well as at interested public and private schools.
The Science Fair student participants utilize the many advanced skills they learned at their local STEM Centers and schools. The students create actual working solutions to real problems. A total of 187 projects (some of them large) were transported to Addis Ababa, along with the 254 student participants.
The logistics is a remarkable achievement, considering how far some of the students reside from the national capital. The Science Fair is a wonderful way for diverse students to share experiences with fellow students who come from different cultures and traditions.
The national event’s student participants were the winners of their earlier local hometown Science Fairs. Approximately 2500 students nationwide this year participated in those local Science Fairs.
Ethiopian Science Fair students demonstrate problem-solving projects, such as Wheel Chair Design, Smart Blind Stick, Radar-Controlling System, Multipurpose Security System, Motorized Tricycles and many more working engineering and robotics models.
Volunteer judges from the international Addis Ababa community carefully evaluate those projects, using a rubric scoring method.
Grade 12 female student Afrah Hussine (a student at the EAS STEM center) won first-prize for her Stair climbing Wheel Chair. Similarly, Meron Mulatu and Natoli Hunduma (students from Kotebe Metropolitan University Menelik II Science Shared Campus) won a first-prize, and students from AAIT STEM Center won an award for their Smart Blind Stick innovation.
During his opening speech at the award ceremony, Dr. Tilaye Getie,Ethiopia’s Minister of Education, said, “Our National Science Fair creates a platform for students and teachers to share experience from each other and nurture their creativity and innovation skills.” He stressed that the engagement in STEM enrichment programs is vital for students to enhance their skills with hands-on STEM labs, as well as to promote the culture of innovation in Ethiopia.
GFCT-STEMpower also provided tickets and transportation for all 254 student participants to visit the Grand Palace in Addis Ababa. That historical building was built in the late 1800s by Emperor Menelik II, who founded Addis Ababa. Recently the palace was refurbished by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy, along with the impressive new national treasure called Unity Park.
Local and international media companies broadcasted this year’s Science Fair to the nation.
“Inside every child is a scientist. Mark Gelfand
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