Nigerian youth drone academy workshop

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Russell Brooks

The Nigerian Youth Drone Academy workshop project is a joint collaboration between the US Consulate General, Lagos and the U S-based Global Air Drone Academy. Our special thanks go to Cedar STEM & Entrepreneurship Hub of Lonadek for hosting the workshop-led by their founder, Ms. Ibilola Amao. I am excited to welcome public and private high school students from Lagos and Abeokuta as they learn to become a part of this trend in aviation technology. I am glad to also welcome tutors of STEM who will surely pay keen attention to the proceedings to be able to provide guidance to their students.

STEM Education is a big priority for the United States government. We believe that every student throughout the world deserves a high-quality education in STEM in order to enhance their individual possibilities as well as their ability to contribute to making our world a better place.

The US Consulate-General is pleased to sponsor seminars and workshops by leaders in technological fields in both Nigeria and the United States who are actively advocating for increased education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. And why is STEM important? The reason is simple: STEM education is one of the keys to any country’s economic success.

When Ambassador Symington opened the American Space in Yaba in 2017, located at the Co-Creation Hub, he pledged the U.S. government’s support for projects that would expand the use of technology in Nigeria.

We have since funded a number of projects to increase STEM education in different parts of the country. We hosted RoboRAVE, a robotics education programme across several locations in Nigeria in 2017 and 2018. We funded the establishment of a technology hub in Lagos that provides technology training and mentoring for persons living with disabilities.

Last year we inaugurated the Global Air Media workshops in Lagos. In recognition of the programme’s success, we are repeating it this year. Global Air Media’s co-founder, Eno Umoh, is with us. Global Air Media is based in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Umoh has taught drone education workshops worldwide and is part of the US State Department’s Speakers Programme.

On this visit, Mr. Umoh will be holding about a dozen workshops including four build-a-drone programmes for 144 high school students. I am glad to inform you that each group will build and take home their own drone.

Teaching children about drone technology is an ideal tool to introduce them to the fundamentals of STEM. It is a fun way to help them develop their cognitive, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Drones are changing the world. From making agriculture more efficient, to aiding search-and-rescue operations, to delivering medicine to remote locations, the possibilities for drones to help make our world better are endless and I am glad that the U.S. Mission is able to play a role in building a better Nigeria by supporting this project.

I am also very happy to see young girls that are interested in this project since it is absolutely crucial that we bridge the gender gap in STEM education and STEM-related careers throughout the world.

I hope that all of you, boys and girls, will take what you learn today and spread this knowledge beyond this group. I also hope today’s programme will inspire you to pledge to commit to educating yourselves and others in the STEM fields and use those skills to build a more prosperous Nigeria. Thank you very much.

Remarks by the Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate, Lagos, Russell Brooks, at the Nigerian youth drone academy workshop

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