Kabarak University to host STEM workshop

Kabarak University Vice-Chancellor Henry Kiplagat (right) with CEO Nuclear Power and Energy Agency CEO Collins Juma during the launch of a three-day International Mentorship workshop in STEM at Kabarak University on July 21,2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Forty-eight students from across the country will attend a three-day international mentoring workshop in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at Kabarak University, Nakuru County.

Nuclear Power Agency, International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation and Nuclear Power and Energy Agency will mentor the 22 boys and 26 girls.

Kabarak University becomes the first institution to host the mentorship programme, dubbed ‘You can do it’, in Africa.

William D Magwood, IV, director general Nuclear Energy Agency said for the first time, the agency is bringing a mentoring workshop to Africa, working with the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC) of which both Kenya and NEA are members.

Magwood said NEA is pleased to provide unique and life-changing opportunities to young learners from Kenyan primary and secondary schools.

He said the agency has held international mentoring workshops for several years aimed at encouraging students to consider careers in the sciences and engineering.

“The world needs new generations of creative people to address the many challenging issues facing the world today, especially in areas of society’s future energy needs and the urgency of environmental protection, where the NEA is very active,” he said via Zoom during the launch of the workshop.

Magwood said he hopes the workshop marks the beginning of a vibrant relationship between NEA and the people of Kenya and that the seeds planted by this workshop bear amazing fruit in the years to come.

Kabarak University Vice-Chancellor Henry Kiplagat said the university is honoured to host the programme. He added that the students will be mentored by people from various countries who will give their personal experiences in the pursuit of STEM-related programmes.

“The examples are very important because the young people are looking for heroes and heroines who they can emulate. The students are in that age in life that is punctuated by lots of curiosity and this mentorship programme will help them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers,” Prof Kiplagat said.

Fix societal problems

He said the programme will not only benefit the country but the continent at large.

Kiplagat said the students are the people who will help fix societal problems and implement nuclear power production. “This is the generation that is going to actualise the production of nuclear power in the country,” he said.

As a university, he said, they will endeavour to partner with Nuclear Energy Agency, International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation and Kenya Nuclear Power and Energy Agency so that they can provide industry linkage for students to get internships.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter said Kenya has made the decision to embark on nuclear power generation.

He said it is anticipated that the first nuclear power plant will be set up in the next 10 to 15 years and the mentees will be driving the agenda.