Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
4-K data clubs provide an opportunity for young people to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in a fun and practical context. STEM projects challenge students to make the critical connection between everyday problems and solutions that can be provided by research, science and innovation.
Why Teach STEM?
Over the years, STEM continues to evolve, expand and develop. Incorporating STEM into the 4-K Clubs will create pupils that are able to solve problems as they deal with them, and deduce evidence from the natural and engineered world.
The 4-K Clubs STEM program will be organized along FIVE theme areas;
- Design thinking.
- Science process skills
- Using STEM in practice
- Quantitative reasoning
- Computational thinking
In addition to the skills and abilities manifested in the theme areas, the following cross cutting outcomes will be supported by the 4-K club STEM programs.
- Self confidence
- Critical thinking abilities
- Risk taking, creativity and resilience
- STEM-related career aspirations
- STEM interest and curiosity
- Using STEM approach to problem solving
- Collaboration, teamwork and perspective taking.
4-K DATA CLUBS
Accessibility of good and reliable data in a timely manner is increasingly becoming crucial in driving action for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The demands imposed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on country systems are greater than those of previous development frameworks. This era requires a greater amount of data in increasingly higher quality and consistency far surpassing the capacity of the national statistics system.
4-K Club is responding to the need to rapidly increase the human resource pool for data scientists and data journalists required for Kenya to adequately track progress against the indicators for the SDGs by getting children engaged through data clubs.
The connection between the agricultural sector and food systems, the environment, and sustainable water management in urban areas is not adequately amplified in the public domain. Data can play a significant role in amplifying the impact of human actions and calling for action in pursuit of Agenda 2030. 4-K Clubs play a critical role in the transfer of knowledge and skills from experts to communities, using the angst and energy of children and the youth as a catalyst for change.
Data clubs provide an opportunity for young people to engage in research, advocacy and journalism by providing research problems and protocols across Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security, Natural Resource and Ecosystem management, prevention and management of Water-related Disasters, and Climate Change.
Science entails the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiments. It also includes the knowledge we obtain about the world. A good example in Agriculture is seed improvements. Scientists are constantly working to improve seeds to better withstand different weather conditions (e.g. wind and drought) and overall improve yield. Farmers do a number of scientific tests throughout the year to be assured of better yields. Some of these tests include things like undertaking soil test, checking the water quality, monitoring the weather conditions, doing crop yield estimation and the list goes on. Another application of Science is that of hydroponic farming that involves growing crops without soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent.
Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as agriculture. One of the key technology advancement in agriculture has been in precision farming. Precision farming technologies are being used in much of the equipment today to auto-steer equipment and attached systems with increasing precision and accuracy, for planting and applying fertilizer, or even sending notification or messages to farmers. The evolution of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly referred to as drones, and associated technologies has now made them an essential technology going forth for precision farming. Where farming space is a challenge, you can think about vertical farming such as using bags to grow Kales.
Engineering is the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures. Engineering for Agriculture, commonly referred to Agricultural Engineering, has been there for some time in the country and is even offered in some local universities. Agricultural Engineering renders itself to applications from the basics of designing and modifying a hoe to better meet the needs of the farmer, to designing a maize sheller by artisans, resigning drone sprayers to the very advanced ones of designing and manufacturing tractors and combine harvesters.
Mathematics is the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, measurement, transformations, and their generalizations. Agriculture, in today’s environment, is a business which requires and thrives on solid understanding of mathematics for better analysis and financials to remain competitive. Farmers are constantly doing mathematical calculations to determine everything from how much grains are required for planting a given area, the weather conditions for the crop to determine when to plant, amount of water needed for the crop to mature to plan for water resources in irrigation, crop yield estimation to plan for storage and market to doing a input-output cost-benefit analysis to determine profitability.