Across much of sub-Saharan Africa many secondary school students have few opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Science and technology careers are often referred to as the jobs of the future, driving innovation, economic growth and sustainable development. Yet, talented young people often do not have up-to-date books on STEM topics and their teachers and librarians lack the resources to support their studies, particularly in Africa.
Girls face special challenges as in many communities STEM subjects are still traditionally seen as for boys. Without STEM skills, young people will find themselves locked out of many well-paid careers. STEM skills are also critical in addressing the impact of climate change, increasing food security and improving healthcare.
How we are helping
We are working for a future where every talented young student has the support and books they need to take the first step towards STEM success. Our STEM Study Hub programme offers that chance to every student.
In each STEM Study Hub we provide a library with 3,000 brand new, carefully selected STEM books donated from the UK, a grant to purchase local STEM books and exam preparation guides designed for secondary school pupils. We also train librarians in how to support all students, but particularly young women, as they prepare for exams.
Every library also donates a collection of STEM books to three local schools, further increasing access for students. Together, these elements transform students’ experience of STEM subjects, helping them succeed at a critical juncture and take the first step towards a career in STEM.
Changing perspectives in Malawi
Thanks to funding from Aggreko we have opened two STEM Study Hubs in Malawi which have so far been used by over 3,000 students. All of the students taking part are benefitting from the Study Hub, but teachers report that the impact on female students has been particularly striking.
They are seeing an increase in girls’ confidence in STEM subjects and the girls themselves have a whole new approach to the sciences.
“Sciences brings out the inner me. Chemistry and biology are my favourites. I come to the library mostly for the science books. They really work with the new curriculum and the information is very clear. I want to be a biomedical engineer or a neurosurgeon.”
– Wakisa Makisulu. 14 year old STEM Study Hub user
Learning and thriving in Malawi and Zambia
Thanks to funds from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we piloted the Study Hub model in four Zambian libraries and 12 Zambian schools. The results from the pilot found that a local Study Hub helped pupils approach exams with confidence, enriched local classrooms and changed attitudes toward reading and learning. Read the full evaluation report to find out more
Be a part of the next STEM Study Hub
Across Africa, students are arriving at their libraries determined to revise, succeed in their exams and build a bright future, only to find that the books they need are not there.
Through the generosity of supporters like you, we have already opened STEM Study Hubs in Zambia, Malawi and, most recently, Ghana – but much remains to be done.
In the years to come, we aim to expand the STEM Study Hubs programme across sub-Saharan Africa – giving talented young people the books and support they need to succeed in their exams, pursue exciting careers and open doors to opportunities. But we can’t do it without you.
To be a part of the next STEM Study Hub please get in touch:
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7733 3577.