iNERDE Inc. is a US registered nonprofit organization that aims to empower African youth by giving them the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. Our pilot program is an 8-week long STEM summer camp taught in French and English in Bamako, Mali. The camp will aim to increase the interest and aptitude of Malian youth (4th & 5th graders in particular) in Math and Science by engaging them in team based engineering and science projects. We are preparing to launch our pilot program in Bamako, Mali in June 2014.
What We Need and Why
We need to raise $31,230 to successfully run and evaluate out pilot program. The funds raised will cover the following expenses:
- Materials required to teach the curriculum and for participants to design and build projects and experiments;
- Food and snacks for the participants;
- Round trip flights to/from Bamako for our volunteer "Empowerment Agents;"
- Modest stipends for our volunteer staff;
- Lodging for international volunteers;
- Rent and utilities for the camp location for 8 weeks;
- Advertising and branding;
- Camp location security;
- Internet usage during the camp;
- Pre- and post-camp assessment and narrative evaluations for all camp participants.
Our team is composed of engineers, scientists, economists, and university students from Burkina Faso, Canada, Mali, Togo and the USA. Between us we have over 10 years of experience in educational development, community service, and the design and running of summer camps and after school programs around the world.
Our goal is to inspire African children to be interested in education, and in STEM fields in particular. In Mali, for instance, STEM literacy is not required of students until they reach senior high school. Studies conducted by the National Science Foundation have shown that by the 4th grade, 33% of children express negative attitudes towards science. This increases to 50% by the 8th grade. Long-term efforts to turn this tide of negativity must therefore start early in a child's education. The future of Mali, and of Africa as a whole depends on the education its children have access to.
Beginning this summer with our pilot program in Bamako, Mali, iNERDE is starting a paradigm shift in how STEM education is approached in West Africa. We'll provide our participants with access to a transformational science education that they otherwise wouldn't have. With this, they'll have the foundations to engage with science knowledgeably and critically, and to pursue careers in STEM.
The camp will teach children the importance of STEM values such as teamwork, problem solving, and technological innovation, which will enable them to recognize and solve existing and emerging problems within their communities. We'd be thrilled and forever grateful if you would join us in this cause and help iNERDE achieve its goal of changing futures for the better.
Our Strategy and Curriculum
Our strategy is to approach STEM fields for what they ultimately are: ways of thinking, planning, and doing that are grounded in people and problems in society. We’re going to forego the formulas and their abstract applications to spherical cows for the moment and focus on what makes STEM exciting and relevant. The 8-week long pilot program will be divided up into modules, including engineering, ecology, sustainability, space, and leadership and entrepreneurship. Each module will be instructed by local and international volunteers, and augmented by professional guests that work in STEM fields who will serve as motivational speakers and mentors to the participants. Each week there will be a variety of projects associated with that module. In addition to prepared projects, participants will identify problems in their communities and tackle them through projects grounded in STEM.
Where We're Going from Here
This summer's pilot program in Bamako will be the first time that the complete curriculum will be taught to a single group of participants. For the duration of the camp we'll be evaluating the progress and level of engagement of each participant, and the efficacy of the curriculum as a whole. As the camp progresses we'll be tweaking it to maximize its impact. Upon completion, we'll review the program as a whole and incorporate the lessons we've learned into an updated curriculum which will be made available to schools across Mali and West Africa.
In the long term we want to make STEM education a more integral part of African education. Our pilot project is just a beginning of the implementation of this vision.
What You Can Get
In partnership with local artists in Mali, we're able to offer certain donors unique perks representative of Mali and West Africa.
- Get a Tailored Bazin - EXCLUSIVE!
The Bazin is a traditional ceremonial dress for both men and women in Subsaharan-Africa. Each Bazin is hand made in Bamako and tailored to your measurements. Before placing the order, we will contact you for your measurements and color preferences.
- Dogon Sculpture - LIMITED offer!
If you aren’t able to help financially, we would truly appreciate if you could help us spread the word on social media and among your friends. You can do this by joining our conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You can also:
iNERDE.org/SMM where you’ll find suggested tweets that you can share on your personal social media profiles;
apply to be a volunteer for the pilot program;
talk about the project and/or share the link to this campaign within your own network;
- get involved in our movement by suggesting ideas on iNERDE.org or by subscribing to our mailing so we can keep you in the loop about our progress.