Inspire Africa launches innovative STEAM program for SA schools

February 20, 2019 • Education, Southern Africa

Inspire Africa launches innovative STEAM program for SA schools

Inspire S.T.E.A.M. uses techniques in both drone operation and programming – learners from ages 8 upwards experience just how awesome drones are, igniting their imaginations as they are introduced to applied learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics with drone technology.

It is well-known that South African students, in general, are sorely lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics.  Inspire S.T.E.A.M. brings STEAM alive for them through application of these in a curriculum that takes them on a journey of discovery in design, programming, operation and evaluation; a tangible experience of STEAM that leaves them with a core skill and a greater understanding of the role and value of these disciplines, along with an appreciation and knowledge of how they can be applied.

Simon Robinson, CEO of Inspire Africa Group is emphatic about contributing to the development of STEAM in all South African schools because “The future of our economy relies greatly on people with STEAM skills.  Africa haemorrhages cross-cultural talent in STEAM disciplines from as early as primary school.  This means that we are not drawing on 100% of our talent pool in STEAM careers, and our economy will suffer from the lack of diversity.”

We are riding the wave of change with 4th Industrial Revolution technologies such as VR, AI, IoT and AR and this is directly supporting new careers in multiple industry sectors.  Drone technology has been used by tech-savvy consumers and defence organisations for some years, but the benefits of this technology extend well beyond just these sectors.

As drones become increasingly accessible many of the dangerous and high-paying jobs in commercial sectors are being displaced by drone technology, offering safe and cost-effective solutions ranging from data collection to delivery.

Drone uses extend past our lifestyle enjoyments, with flying fun and aerial photography, they now offer more career opportunities in an emerging global market for business services using drones that according to a PwC report, has a potential value of over US$127 billion.  Inspire S.T.E.A.M. is a fun and beneficial introduction into this exciting and relevant future as it expands STEAM disciplines and opens career opportunities previously unexplored.

“We want to get the youth of today excited about drones, drone technology and the aviation industry by providing the opportunity for the youth to learn new skills and use these skills in their future development and employment,” says Robinson. “It is important that private industry supports our government’s focus on developing STEAM in our schools and Inspire S.T.E.A.M. is our product designed to do just that.  While the costs associated with the programme are more easily managed by independent schools, with government support funding, there is no barrier to this programme being incorporated into all South African schools to directly support STEAM needs.”

“In addition to this, we are currently in negotiation with parties creating an opportunity for corporate social responsibility funding to be able to offer this programme to all our scholars.  However, this does not mitigate the need for the government’s participation to introduce this programme to all schools in South Africa, as the effort will require multiple funding streams”.

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger
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