Four amazing schools in Mali and one elite school in Senegal are participating in our program. Our school directors, Soumaïla Maïga, Abdoulaye Trouré, Boubacar Sy, Drissa Tiama, and Stephanie Kane have dedicated their lives to creating opportunities for youth in their countries. We couldn’t be more proud to be working with each of them.
The Mali Colonie de Vacances STEM has been hosted by La Cité des Enfants in Bamako and the Senegal Colonie de Vacances STEM by The Senegalese-American Bilingual School (SABS) at their campus in Dakar.
For a full prospectus of iNERDE’s partner schools who participate in our education program, visit the profile pages below:
L’École du Progrès
L’École du Progrès
L’École du Progrès (The School of Progress), founded in 1992, has been one of the leading centers of educational excellence in Bamako for over 20 years. We combine a modern, progressive approach to learning with the ideal of service … to the community, to our nation, and to the world.
The motto of our school is “Apprendre pour savoir, savoir pour agir, agir pour server” – Learn to know, know to act, act to serve. We were delighted, but not surprised, when one of our alumni, Mohamed Kanté, though busy pursuing a successful career in the United States as an Electrical Engineer, proposed to partner with the L’École du Progrès on iNERDE’s first Colonie de Vacances STEM (STEM Summer Camp) in the summer of 2014. We are very proud to see Mohamed and all of our graduates honoring their commitment to making a difference.
The first Colonie de Vacances STEM was a wonderful experience for 30 of our 4th and 5th grade students and we are very excited at the prospect of having iNERDE come back next year with a bigger and better program.
We have about 65 students in the 4th and 5th grades (in our system, the 2ème or second cycle following the elementary grades). L’École du Progrès has a strong program in STEM subjects; in the second cycle our kids learn about plants, the human body, simple machines, weights and measures, addition, subtraction, writing out numbers, and fractions. We don’t, however, have an environment in Mali where “tech” is a part of our daily lives to the same extent that it is in the United States and other highly developed nations. The iNERDE Colonie de Vacances STEM is a wonderful complement to our program because it gives our kids and our teachers exposure to learning materials and a perspective … well, from the future, the future for Mali we want our kids to imagine and, one day, create.
Another area that is quite important to our school is the promotion of equal opportunity for women. We are aware that there is a lot of discussion in United States about under-representation of women in STEM fields and negative attitudes toward STEM that many girls develop early in their education. We have the same problem in Mali and L’École du Progrès is strongly committed to combatting it. We have seen that iNERDE’s Colonie de Vacances STEM will strengthen our efforts in this area with its emphasis on building all students’ confidence in their ability to learn and use STEM.
L’École du Progrès would welcome the support of a sponsor for the Colonie de Vacances STEM 2015 as very few of our parents would be able to bear the cost of sending their children to this kind of special program. We believe the effect of the camp will quickly expand beyond the direct educational benefit to the students as the experience and knowledge is diffused through our school and our community. We would also like to say that we would welcome any type of direct participation in the Colonie de Vacances STEM that would be of interest to the sponsoring organization. We believe that our futures are linked, our students and the young people in Africa will play an increasingly important role in imagining and creating the future of our planet. So, let us build bridges now, we welcome you to Mali to share your knowledge and experience with us and to participate in the exciting transformation sweeping over Africa.
L’École de la Paix
L’École de la Paix
École de la Paix (Peace School), founded in 1996 on Bamako’s Right Bank (rive droite), provides a rigorous, quality education to almost 500 students. École de la Paix prides itself on creating an environment dedicated to learning, with a cadre of exceptionally dedicated teachers with deep experience as educators.
Our students, their families, our teachers, and staff form a community motivated by the ideal of human transformation. We feel that education in STEM is critical to enable each of our students to have the understanding needed to act in a world where science is increasing implicated in every aspect of our lives. Our dream for our children is that they will have the capacity to shape their own future and the future of our country toward prosperity, opportunity, human development, and, as the name of our school says, toward peaceful coexistence and cooperation with people in every nation.
In the 4th and 5th grades our students focus on the mathematical concepts need for a base in STEM subjects including the number system, classification of figures and solids, and whole numbers and fractions. We are not able to offer our students access to computers; we are very excited that the iNERDE STEM camp will give our students exposure to some of the fundamentals of computer science. Our teachers are very motivated to be exposed to new methods for conveying scientific knowledge.
Soumaïla, Haby, Kadiatou, Maïmouna, Adawa, Robkiatou, Laha, Sourata, Issa, Ossad, Oulématou, Aïssata, Thina, Kone … and 18 more boys and girls of École de la Paix are excited about participating in the iNERDE Colonie de Vacances STEM this summer. Strange Malian names, perhaps, for our friends in America and other places, but we hope that it will become not unusual to see such names participating in the world community of scientific thinkers and contributors. We appreciate your interest in our school and our Malian youth and the fact that our share our vision to transform the lives of young people and to transform the world.
L’École Publique Badalabougo
L’École Publique Badalabougo
École Publique Badalabougou (Badalabougou Public School) is a public school on the Right Bank (rive droite) in Bamako, Mali which has provided a quality education for sixty years. While our resources are extremely limited the Malian people place enormous value on learning, dedicating about 20% of our national budget to education. In absolute terms, however, we have very little on an international scale; for example, the per capita GDP of Mali is about 1/50th that of the United States. However, we do the best we can and our school is dedicated to creating opportunity for our youth to enjoy a productive future and to enable Mali to make its contribution to the world.
While our environment may present unique challenges, we are very pleased that iNERDE has a commitment to support public education in Mali and wants to bring a Colonie de Vacances STEM to our school. We have many bright young people who are willing to work very hard and are eager for any opportunity to learn about science and the technologies that are commonplace in the developed world.
École Publique Badalabougou has been a leader in the Malian public school system in promoting science education. Our school was the first educational institution on Bamako’s Right Bank with a dedicated unit for instruction in the sciences; unfortunately, that unit is currently not operational due to resource constraints. The limitations of our environment, including lack of internet access, have handicapped our efforts to motivate the interest of our students in the sciences and to give them the solid foundation needed to understand and participate in the modern world. We believe that the iNERDE Colonie de Vacances STEM will open a window into that world for some of our most promising young people.
École Publique Badalabougou educates over 1500 students, with about 300 in 4th and 5th grades. We would like to give as many of them as possible exposure to sciences and technology and an introduction to computing through the iNERDE Colonie de Vacances STEM. Our students come from lower income families that cannot afford the richer environment that private schools in Mali provide but they are eager and motivated to learn and they are the future of our country. We give them a good background in mathematics and we teach them critical observations skills in our science curriculum but we need to give them some exposure to real world applications of science and technology.
The lack of any real world experience with science and technology has the result that over 2/3 of our students chose an orientation toward letters where there are few jobs and not toward technical fields. Our country has a massive problem of unemployment yet there is also an immense shortage of skilled technical workers in areas where there are employment opportunities. The iNERDE STEM program can be a catalyst to bringing new awareness to our young people of that type of opportunities that can exist and be created by their initiative.
We thank you for your interest in École Publique Badalabougou and for your support of public education in Mali and for your desire to create a world where there is opportunity for every young person to realize their dreams.
L’École Les Castors
L’École Les Castors
École Les Castors (The Beavers School), founded in 1998 in Bamako’s Mali Quarter, is a community of over 1200 students, educators, and staff dedicated to learning and knowledge as a primary human value.
Mathematics and science focused on plants, animals, and the human body is strongly emphasized in the program of our 277 4th and 5th grade students. Our students also have access to computers and the internet, somewhat exceptionally for Mali. We are thus able to give them a small amount of exposure to technology but engineering and information about engineering careers has not been incorporated into our curriculum. Our teachers work very hard at being excellent educators and will appreciate the opportunity to be exposed to new concepts they can use in their classrooms. An important objective of École Les Castors to enable our students to better understand and to love science, to have the tools needed for their future careers, and to possess the confidence in their abilities to make judicious choices in their educational and career orientation.
Considering the objectives of the Colonie de Vacances STEM, we believe it will help us, above all, in developing new educational methodologies with a practical, hands-on character. We are very interested in the concept of teaching teamwork through collaboration on problem-solving as a group. Focusing on solving real problems should help our students to see that the objective of education is not just to earn a diploma but to gain knowledge and, ultimately, the ability, to do things that impact lives.
The Malian educational system has traditionally fallen short in bridging the gap between basic knowledge and competences which would prepare our youth for professions. This is what we find exciting about the STEM program, it stresses going from theory and core knowledge to application. Finally, our students will touch the artifacts of scientific works with their fingers, having an experience that can enable them to imagine possibilities that they otherwise would never have dreamed of in the future choice of their career.
If there is one thing I would like to say about École Les Castors it is that the desire to learn is deeply impregnated in our environment, as is the desire to go beyond the ordinary, and a spirit of solidarity in enabling each of our students to attain excellence. Our students, to an overwhelming degree, truly love to learn and want to succeed in life. We warmly welcome you to become a part of our learning community and we thank you for enabling us to bring the wonderful opportunity that Colonie de Vacances STEM represents to our students.
The Senegalese-American Bilingual School (SABS) is a pre k-13 independent institution based in Dakar, Senegal, with close to 1000 students. Its mission is to shape the world leaders of tomorrow, with a particular emphasis on the future of Africa. It offers two academic tracks: the Senegalese and American programs, taught in French and in English, respectively. In addition to rigorous academics, students develop environmental awareness, a commitment to community service and a passion for entrepreneurship. Alumni are studying in universities in North America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Europe and China.
SABS is excited to begin a partnership with iNERDE as this furthers its mission to provide students with 21st century learning experiences, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.