Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are fun and exciting, and learning these subjects can lead to great things. On April 28th, more than 150 children, aged between 7 and 14, got to experience this excitement first hand at Moldova’s premier STEM Discovery Week event, “STIM sa descoperim”, organised by the Moldova Competitiveness Project (funded by USAID and the Government of Sweden), in partnership with Tekwill Academy Kids.
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“STIM sa descoperim” took place at Tekwill, a Technology Excellence Center in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. For three hours, the space was taken over by 12 simultaneous workshops using the latest in educational technology, including LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and Wedo 2.0 robotics kits, MakeyMakey, Arduino, Ozobots, Mbots, and Virtual Reality headsets. The free coding club, CoderDojo Chisinau, provided parallel coding activities, where volunteer-led mentors taught participants how to make their own computer programmes and projects.
Electronic Art with Arduino
Fun Experiments with MakeyMakey
The event was aimed at encouraging children and youth to engage with STEM subjects at high school and beyond, enabling them to access exciting opportunities in tomorrow’s economy. Young Moldovans discovered the wonderful world of STEM through workshops in robotics, fun mathematics, programming, design and virtual reality, and were also treated to a spectacular science show.
Football with Mbots
Sergiu Botezatu, Project Manager at USAID Moldova said “IT has an enormous potential for growth in Moldova, so USAID supports various digital education projects to prepare the workforce for this sector. Learning Science in an interactive way allows young people to develop their logical thinking, creativity and team spirit, and shows them how to apply the practical and interactive concepts of science and engineering to the real world.”
“STIM sa descoperim” formed part of STEM Discovery Week, a global initiative that celebrates and encourages young people to study STEM, and empowers community members to enhance collaboration opportunities among stakeholders in their local area. This year, STEM Discovery Week was celebrated worldwide on April 23-29 under the slogan “Say yes to STEM”.
Three high schools in Chisinau also celebrated STEM Discovery Week, joining more than 10,000 schools in over 30 countries across the world with their interdisciplinary activities using digital equipment. “Mircea Eliade” Theoretical High School created simulations of natural phenomena with the help of robots and various equipment in their Future Classroom Lab. The event challenged students to build rain-stimulated robots, a water slide and a mercury thermometer, all built from LEGO WeDo and LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 technology. Fourth and eleventh grade students at “Socrates” and “Iulia Hasdeu” high schools partnered together to face various physics and math challenges, part of a specially organized science contest and quest.