With the last week of camp, the adventure just begins for our Nerdy graduates! The students had a blast finishing up projects!
The last week of camp was quite busy. Everyone was focused on the completion of projects and the big Graduation Ceremony. The Wind Turbine, Fuel Cell Car, Solar Car, and AERobot projects were ready to go but the 3D Model House and Shortwave Radio teams were scrambling to finish on Monday. Students worked on PowerPoint presentations and rehearsed hard for their project presentations to given in front parents, teachers, school officials, and even government officials! Teachers and Empowerment Agents worked long into the night making the graduation caps!
During the ceremony, iNERDE students presented their projects with their usual poise; dissecting the science and engineering principles behind windmills, solar cars, self-driving hydrogen cars, a scale model of a house, a radio transmitter, and robotics programming. The robotics programming team presented, possibly for the first time ever in Mali, a hack-a-thon, where teams raced to be the first to complete a program. Two students in the second year advanced robotics programming course did a walk-through of programs that they developed.
Amina Cissé, Head of the Cité des Enfants (City of Children) where iNERDE’s programs were held, communicated the importance of iNERDE for the future of Mali. She singled out the increasing professionalism with which the iNERDE team has run the program over the last three years and announced plans to extend the partnership between the Cité des Enfants and iNERDE to a year-round program.
Chief Nerd Mohamed Kanté conducted an interview chat with Q&A before the awarding of diplomas and reflected on the progress and struggles of iNERDE over the last three years to establish a program capable of bring revolutionary change to education in Mali. Many attendees congratulated iNERDE on everything that has been accomplished and many noted how each year has gotten better with increasing innovations.