Engineering Club

This past month, four supporters from the great state of Colorado (yes I’m biased 🤣) volunteered at the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy. JP and Anne Feve visited Kenya last year and couldn’t wait to go back. Here’s JP, who has a PhD in engineering, reflecting on his time at KGSA. 

Witnessing the official start of KGSA’s Engineering Club during my recent visit to Nairobi was an absolute treat. This was the conclusion of months of work with the staff: countless hours were devoted to planning the curriculum, and to laboriously assembling the material and meticulously testing the projects. There were moments of doubts during the WhatsApp meetings: will this work? Is this realistic in Kibera?

Seeing the students jump into their water filtration project, research solutions, create their “shopping list” and assemble prototypes was the perfect antidote: the girls surpassed all our expectations. Their enthusiasm for hands-on learning, their ability to problem-solve and to invent creative solutions was simply amazing. The students are avid learners ready to tackle new challenges. I can’t wait to see them build bridges and clocks.

On the last day of our stay we witnessed another fantastic example of the students’ fervor for STEM: a group of Form 3 and Form 4 (junior and senior) girls represented KGSA in a Chemistry competition against twelve other high schools in Nairobi. Our students won 1st place! When they returned to the school with the cup, the welcome reception made it feel like the varsity soccer team had won the national championship! Yes, it can be cool to be a nerd…🏆

This speaks to the unique talent and dedication of the school staff. I’m truly humbled by Mr. Moses’ enthusiasm to embrace a new paradigm with this new Engineering Club, which is vastly different from Kenya’s science teaching. The dedication of the STEM teaching staff to offer new learning experiences and opportunities to develop new skills is inspiring. I’m very thankful that they allowed me to make a small contribution. I’m even more thankful for the way they made me feel at home during that week. This was the most rewarding use of PTO time I can remember.

Thank you JP for helping us launch the KGSA Engineering Club! Karibu Sana, meaning you are always welcome at the school.