STEM and Gearbox academy

Science and Technology is intrinsically connected to everything in our society and it is important for Africa to recognize the fundamental role of STEM in its' future. While we recognize the significance and complementary role of the arts in contributing to the well-roundness of the overall quality education, students who study STEM subjects develop a variety of skills that are essential for our continent's future: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation and collaboration, to name a few. These are the skills needed to solve Africa's most complex and pressing challenges today – from healthcare to agriculture to urban revitalization, infrastructure to global warming.

A key way to meet these emerging challenges for the 21st century is to grow the STEM skills base of young Africans. As an engine of growth, the potential of STEM is endless. We have seen the tremendous benefits STEM has brought to Africa, especially through wireless technologies, which have transformed our businesses into mobile and global enterprises. We now have faster, real-time access to information about infectious diseases, global markets, and customer perceptions; and the ability to place our local products and services in a more competitive global market has opened new opportunities on the continent

At Gearbox, we introduced the Gearbox Academy, a hands-on training program that teaches young students, both in Primary and Secondary level, on aspects on computer programming and gives students the necessary skills required to think creatively and innovatively, arming them with the mindset to solve problems.

They start on individual projects, solving their own problems using systems like VR, AI, embedded system and others.During the project development and training, the trainee will use the Human Centered Design (HCD). This is the approach where the trainee solves an actual Social challenge in the community by immersing themselves in the community, interacting with the people and getting their point of view on how best the solution can be formulated. then the trainee takes on the development, from the process of ideation to prototyping and then to implementation.

During the whole process of implementation, the trainee is required to keep on the loop the community members to whom they are creating the solution as well as the trainers. the trainee will make regular sittings with the community members as the are contributors in the process of the development. the Human Centered design is an iterative process that will require involvement from start to end.

Teaching and exposing young minds to this kind of technology expands their minds and gives opportunity for young people to learn how to solve their own problem using available technological resources and expertise. In the Industry future 4.0 aligning their skills and expertise towards this will be viable in future.