Programme aims to reach 3,000 participants in the first year and will grow to cover several countries in the continent
Toulouse, France, 1 August 2017 – The Airbus Foundation together with its partner The Little Engineer is rolling out the Airbus Little Engineer (ALE) robotics programme in Africa.
The initiative aims at training thousands of students between 10 and 16 years old in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The goal is to encourage students to understand and embrace technology and ignite a passion that could grow into an exciting STEM career.
Africa has the fastest-growing and most youthful population in the world, its youth will be the driving force behind sustainable growth across the continent. Therefore, investment in education and training is essential in building an educated and skilled workforce and to encourage innovation. The goal of the ALE programme is to support the countries’ efforts in creating a sustainable pipeline of talent for Africa.
“Africa has developed an ‘innovation’ culture that is growing fast with many social entrepreneurs, local non-profit organizations and we want to support and work with them,” said Andrea Debbane, Executive Director of the Airbus Foundation. “It is important that we all join efforts to facilitate the access to STEM skills. These skills play a key role because Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related jobs are at the core of solving the complex problems of today’s world and its future.”
In the spirit of “think global, act local”, the Airbus Foundation is working with local organisations dedicated to promote science education in Africa. The first partners, Travelling Telescope and STEM METS Resources, respectively based in Kenya and Nigeria will be rolling out a series of ALE workshops in their home countries.
Since its launch in 2012, ALE 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. As of now, the programme has reached over 3,000 students.
About the Airbus Foundation
The Airbus Foundation, chaired by Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, includes Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space as founding and contributing members. It is the company’s vehicle for corporate philanthropy, using the group’s resources, aeronautic and space products, competencies, diverse workforce and culture for driving innovation to address societal issues. In particular, the Foundation supports the global humanitarian community and inspires and prepares young people for the challenges of tomorrow. Since its launch in December 2008, the Airbus Foundation has facilitated more than 55 relief or goodwill flights to numerous destinations around the globe. More information can be found at http://company.airbus.com/responsibility/Foundation.html
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About Travelling Telescope:
The Travelling Telescope is dedicated to promoting science and technology using astronomy. Astronomy has the ability to spark a sense of wonder and curiosity in people, and it is an amazing platform from which to encourage people to pursue science and exploration. Our programs help to encourage both children and adults to learn more about astronomy and to promote Kenya as a worthy addition to the list of worldwide astrotourism hot spots. Founded by Susan Murabana and Daniel Chu Owen, who met at the 2013 solar eclipse in Turkana, The Travelling Telescope visits schools, holds public events and organises star safaris to educate local people and tourists about what goes on in Kenya’s sky at night. We hope that through our programs we can encourage more home grown scientists who can thereafter promote development from within.
About STEM METS Resources Ltd:
STEM METS Resources Ltd. provides 21st century skills training to children in Nigeria using Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (S.T.E.M) based activities and programs with the aim of preparing them for the future workplace. Through various programs and tools, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration and confidence building skills are developed and nurtured.