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Integrate Climate Change in STEM Education for Development

A National Teacher Trainer at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) said integration of Climate Change education in teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects is one of the key ways of combating climate change in the country.

Benjamin Kilonzo speaking at Machakos Township Secondary School on Friday during the closure of a four day mentorship and outreach programme for STEM subjects said climate change is interdisciplinary and there is need for students to learn the physics, biology, mathematics and chemistry in it.

The programme that was conducted in Katoloni, Katheka Kai, Katelembu and Machakos Township secondary schools was aimed at improving competencies in STEM subjects for learners.

Kilonzo noted that with quality STEM education, students are equipped with knowledge and skills that improve their ability to innovate and come up with suitable solutions to mitigate climate change.

“The competencies that CEMASTEA is developing in STEM subjects is meant to help the students to be creative and relate the concepts to their real-life experiences like climate change and innovate technologies to help solve the issues,” he said.

The trainer also noted that with innovation, learners can use locally available materials to create models that can be used to simplify concepts in STEM education.

“We are also encouraging students and teachers establish nurseries and plant more trees not only in schools but also their homes. Besides fighting climate change the trees can also be used for demonstrations in teaching of STEM subjects,” observed Kilonzo.

He disclosed that CEMASTEA will during the March-April-May long rains season plant close to 7,000 tree seedlings to help combat climate change.

“The initiative is also in compliance with the presidential directive on the planting of 15 billion trees to mitigate climate change,” reiterated Kilonzo.

CEMASTEA Coordinator for Special Programmes and Student Learning Beatrice Macharia speaking during the outreach programme emphasized Kilonzo’s sentiments saying building competencies in STEM education for students will help them relate with the day-to-day life experiences.

“This will help reach the goal for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as it helps students to be creative and address the problems they are facing,” noted Mrs. Macharia.

Lucas Ondieki, a Biology and Agriculture teacher at the Machakos Township secondary school also noted teaching of climate change in STEM subjects will help the learners understand the need to conserve the environment.

“The students have themselves witnessed climate change that has led to prolonged droughts, food insecurity and when taught in class they will use that knowledge to mitigate the effects,” noted Ondieki.

By Roselyne Kavoo

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