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Stem Subjects should be taught using the local environment in order to boost its performance in African countries, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) researchers at the 18th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES18) have revealed. These findings were shared at a global conference which was held virtually from 1st to 4th September 2021. The event was organized by International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES) and sponsored by MMUST and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The conference was themed ‘Global Humanitarian Challenges’.

MMUST had the opportunity to participate in the conference courtesy of African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE) which is an affiliate body of INWES. The members of the AWSE Western Chapter, who are all staff of MMUST, include Dr. Seline Ooko- Chairperson, Dr. Annette Okoth-Secretary, Dr. Mary Gorretty Kariaga- Treasurer, Dr. Rose Opiyo-Organizing Secretary and Dr. Elizabeth Omukunda- Coordinator Outreach Activities.  


A section of MMUST researchers keenly following the proceedings of the ICWES18 Conference

The highly attended event was graced by the Director of Research and Postgraduate Support, Prof. Peter Bukhala who officially opened the conference.  Prof. Bukhala assured the AWSE members of his support towards the establishment of the new STEM organizational networks. 

According to Dr. Rose Opiyo, a Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology and Career Coach at MMUST, STEM education paves the way for students to pursue STEM careers. It is also known to be highly rewarding, lucrative and marketable. STEM is commonly perceived to be difficult and not attractive to many students, many of them lose enthusiasm along the journey with girls dropping off more than boys.

“The current system of laboratory based science learning is not meeting the real demands of today’s learners, let us utilize the local skills. Teaching science should be taken to natural laboratories complemented by out of school actual worlds,” emphasized Dr. Opiyo.

Dr Seline Ooko, one of MMUST’s senior scholars at the conference concurred with these sentiments, stating that using local environment skills reduces the bombastic barriers of science languages.

The other notable MMUST scholars who made presentations were, Dr. Mary Goretty Kariaga and Ms. Emily Ngeno. They stressed on the importance of STEM subjects in meeting the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The conference brought together women scientists and engineers to showcase their research findings particularly on matters women and girl-child.

by; Linet Owuor