Kenyan scholars encouraged to embrace technology

IMAGE 4From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – A NEW partnership has been launched to encourage Kenyan students to understand and embrace technology as well as ignite passion in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The Airbus Little Engineer programme, a an initiative by Airbus Foundation, together with its partners – The Little Engineer and The
Travelling Telescope, will benefit scholars aged between 10 and 16.

The Travelling Telescope is a local organisation founded by Susan Murabana and Daniel Chu Owen that helps encourage children and adults to learn more about astronomy.

Since its launch in 2012, the Airbus Little Engineer programme successfully positioned itself as an effective vehicle for discovery-based learning, working to enlighten and empower youth in the areas of science and technology through robotics and aerospace.

Held in partnership with the M-PESA Foundation Academy, the workshop challenged close to 30 Kenyan students to carry out a simulation of a launch mission to space.

“We want to support and work with Kenyan youth whose innovative and high-tech spirit is getting stronger with many small and medium sized companies, social entrepreneurs and local non-profit organizations,” says Andrea Debbane, Executive Director of the Airbus Foundation.

Les Baillie, CEO of the M-PESA Foundation, says the Airbus Little Engineer programme helps to facilitate access to STEM skills which are crucial in solving prevailing complex problems.

“The Airbus Little Engineer initiative fits well into how we approach education at the M-PESA Foundation Academy where we focus on leadership, technology, entrepreneurship training and co-curricular activities alongside academic learning,” Baillie says.

In Kenya, youth are projected to be the driving force behind sustainable growth across the country.

According to the United Nations, in Kenya the small and medium-sized enterprises play a key role in the economic development, contributing 33,8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 81,1 percent of employment opportunities.

Most of these enterprises are run by young people aged between 18 and 35. Investment in education and training is seen as essential in building an educated and skilled workforce.

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