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Scholars Showcase Efforts to Champion Resilient and Sustainable Systems for STEM Education During MMUST International Conference

Stakeholders at the STEMEIC 2022 Conference.


Scholars across the globe have showcased efforts to champion resilient and sustainable systems for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. This was during the 3 to 18was graced by the University Chancellor, Dr. Peter Wanyaga Muthoka.

Expressing his delight, the Chancellor, noted that the conference is indeed a unique platform for the scholars to come together and shape the future of STEM Education in the Post Covid-19 Pandemic Era. He revealed that the University is keen on harnessing efforts to build strong STEM societies as part of its mandate in training the next generation.

“We are gathered here to talk about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: disciplines that are known to build confidence, hone the critical thinking of individuals, and the most critical enabler for sustainable development of communities. STEM does not only pave way for the most lucrative and exciting careers in the world but is also regarded as jobs for the future,” stated Prof. Muthoka.

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A screenshot of a section of participants at the STEMEIC 2022 conference.


 

The Chairperson of the Council, Dr. Musangi Jane Mutua, pointed out that hosting this conference is an indication that MMUST is playing its role in disseminating knowledge as well as offering solutions to the numerous challenges faced by society. She emphasized the need for interventions that would improve people’s livelihoods. This is achieved through integrating governments, policymakers, researchers, and scholars from Universities and other research institutions to provide solutions.

“Let us go beyond the excellent presentations into policies and innovations that can be implemented. As scholars, we are aware of the various institutions, both nationally and internationally, which are dedicated and willing to fund top-notch proposals that would cause an impact on society. I, therefore, encourage all of us to focus our research findings on such endeavors,” urged Dr. Mutua.

Speaking during the conference, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of technology. He added that STEM education provides skills that make people more employable to meet the demands of the ever-changing job market.

“STEM is the engine of our country’s development. This conference is an opportunity to manage social and psychological issues which have heated debate in the global arena. As a University, we endeavor to work towards developing human resources that will bring positive influence to society. We have also developed collaborations with institutions in terms of research and I am glad to report that a number of researchers from MMUST have won grant proposals,” said Prof. Shibairo.

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The University Vice Chancellor addressing participants during the STEM virtual conference.


Welcoming participants to the conference, the Director, of International Relations and Academic Linkages, Dr. Catherine Aurah, acknowledged that MMUST’s Department of Science and Mathematics Education recognizes the necessity of a conference of this magnitude. She added that the platform gives scholars and other professionals an opportunity to gather and share how resilient and sustainable systems can advance STEM education for accessibility to all learners.

“This conference comes at a critical moment in Kenya when curriculum reforms are ongoing. National governments are scrambling to find solutions to issues surrounding STEM education post-covid-19 era. This causes a lot of challenges that impact a wide aspect of stakeholders around the world. For this reason, effective solutions must cut across both countries and sectors,” said Dr. Aurah.

The Dean, School of Education, Prof. Moses Poipoi, acknowledged that the Faculty is committed to encouraging quality research in various areas of expertise. He revealed that the University through the School of Education has initiated to modernize teacher education through transformed education.

“I believe that through this conference there will be even more scholarly collaborative research, community outreach, and partnerships. The faculty is implementing cutting-edge pedagogy in teacher preparation for effective learning,” he stated.

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The Dean, School of Education, Prof. Moses Poipoi giving his remarks during the virtual conference.


The conference brought together various scholars across the globe. Key speakers included; Dr. Deepa Chari- Reader, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, India, Mrs. Jacinta Akatsa- Director, Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), Prof. Rajgopal Sashti- Director of Grants & Sponsored Advisor, USA, Prof. Andrey Koptle- Associate Professor, Sam Houston State University, Prof. Samson Madera Nashon- the University of British Columbia, Prof. Tawanda Runhare (PhD, Pretoria)- Interim Director: School of Education. Prof. Hussein Golicha- Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Students Affairs, MMUST, and Prof. Edgington William- Professor of Education, Co-Chair of International Research and Operation, Sam Houston State University.

Panel Discussion on Critical Literature Review in Academic Writing and Scientific Publications was headed by Ms. Penina Kimani, Chief Digital Officer Longhorn Publishers PLC, Prof. Bonaventure Kerre, University of Eldoret and MMUST panelists included; Dr. Catherine Aurah, Dr. David Barasa, Dr. Rose Opiyo, and Dr. Edwin Kanda.

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A section of MMUST scholars following presentations keenly.


This was replete with exciting and powerful presentations from various scholars on topics which included; ‘Stem Education in the Context of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC)’, ‘Teacher Professional Development in STEM Education, ‘Access, Equality and Inclusion in STEM Education and Research, ‘Teacher Professional Development in Stem Education’, ‘STEM for Improved Health’, ‘Climate Smart Agriculture Leveraging on Stem in the Context of Agenda 2063’, ‘The Role of Creative Arts, Languages And Social Sciences in Promoting Stem Teaching’, ‘Contemporary Issues in Science, Technology and Society, ‘Digital Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Big Data, ‘Revamping Teacher Education in the Context of STEM’, ‘Creative And Innovative Pedagogies for Stem Teaching and Learning as well as ‘Collaboration and Partnerships in STEM Education and Research.

This is an opportunity to create an enduring legacy in mentorship for research and dissemination of early-stage academics and researchers. This year’s conference theme aligns itself with offering solutions for improved livelihoods and addresses Kenya’s Development Agenda on Universal Health Care (UHC), Food Security, Affordable Housing, and manufacturing among others. This will eventually contribute significantly to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


By Verna Awuor and Linet Owuor

Photos by Wilberforce Shiundu