The case for STEM.

How can we deliver STEM to the 50% of the world that is still unconnected?

**Powered by Open Source Hardware**

The STEMcase aims to facilitate the growth of maker skills in the developing world to ease aid dependency & create the skill base for new start-ups to flourish.

1

Case

Dust/water/shock proof Peli-case ideal for delivering STEM in remote locations.

2

Electronics bench

Fully equiped electronics prototyping bench.

3

Pi-top

Low-cost and repairable Raspberry Pi based laptop with an extensive education eco system.

4

Filament Extruder

Create 100% recycled filament, allwoing for a local self contained 3D printing ecosystem.

5

Prusa I3 mk2 3D Printer

This open source printer is widely considered the best in its class and has a large community surrounding it.

What is the STEMcase?

STEMcase

The STEMcase is portable makerspace, it aims to facilitate the growth of maker skills in the developing world to ease aid dependency & create the skill base for new start-ups to flourish.

The STEMcase concept consists of a set of two cases, one for 3D printing and CAD, and one for electronics prototyping and programming.

Fabrication case

Electronics case

The fabrication case containes the tools necessary for local fabrication.

Main components:

Prusa I3 mk2 3D Printer
Precious Plastics Filament Extruder
Self contained solar generator & storage system
case
Internal foam housing
Aluminium extrusions work benches
Pi-top
SATNOGS base station

The electronics case contains the tools and components necessary for learning and prototyping electronics.

Main components:

electronics workbench
soldering station
hand tools
case
Internal foam housing
Aluminium extrusions work benches
SATNOGS base station

What can it make?

What can it make?

The STEMcase can make a wide variety of open source hardware projects

Why?

What is aid dependency and why are we addressing it?

Our following logic on aid is simple:

Adonates money toBto assist, improve, or remove the difficultiesBfaces. These difficulties are basic human needs to survive and flourish, that A possesses, butBdoesn’t.

Once this donation is made with the right provision, and assumingButilises it in the correct ways and corruption isn’t included,Bshould slowly be able to improve their wellbeing and economic stance.

However, whenBstarts depending and/or waiting onA’s donations to improve their position,Bno longer is improving and becoming independent, but relying onAfor survival.

This, in our eyes, is no longer foreign aid, but foreign dependence on aid, which is what we are hoping to improve. Much can be done on the way the money given to less developed countries (LDCs) is utilised, to ensure they no longer require it to continue living. Both parties can be in the wrong for getting to the point of dependence, butAcan do much more by ensuring the aid given is correct, strategic, and sustainable.

This logic isn’t new, and of course, we are not the only believers in ending aid dependency:

Thanks to the OECD databases, we can understand and track the flow of Official Development Assistance (ODA) - a term that’s used to describe and measure the provision of aid to other countries - over the years. The OECD has a committee named the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) which is formed of 30 member countries, who aim to:

“... promote development co-operation and other policies so as to contribute to sustainable development, including pro-poor economic growth, poverty reduction, improvement of living standards in developing countries, and a future in which no country will depend on aid.”

ODA can be further broken down into (1) Bilateral aid and Country programmable aid (CPA). Bilateral aid is money coming from official sources that is going to the respective official sources of the country/countries on the receiving end. Within this, there’s CPA, being the portion of the bilateral aid that goes toindividualcountries, and that the donor has a significant say in. Most of the ODA (49%) coming from DAC members is targeted to be used as CPA, as this gives them greater say in how and where their donation is spent, suggesting there is asignificant amount of control A can have on B when choosing the correct, strategic and sustainable projects and/or methods to invest in. We want to support this.

By guiding the flow of ODA to projects and initiatives that will allow the recipient country to flourish, they will be the creators of their own independence, be it economic, social, or health related.

Why is STEM important?

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics released a report in early January 2017, exploring the areas of STEM and the future it can provide. The majority of STEM occupations had wages above the national average, and were experiencing above average growth.

But here’s the thing… STEM workers possess high levels of education.

Marianne Eve Jamme, CEO of SpotOne Global Solutions, is a strong advocate of improving the STEM related educational policies in Africa. She has also spoken of the need to channel the incoming foreign aid and/or investment into the right educational programs that will upskill the youth, as the vast amount of STEM related job opportunities in Africa are currently being outsourced.

The case for STEM is not just an economic one, we believe that the democratization of technical skills will aid everything from climate change mitigation, to the control of epidemics.

Why Open Hardware, and what is it?

Open Source Hardware (OSHW) is a term for tangible artifacts — machines, devices, etc— whose designs have been released to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use those things.

Our experience with the open source movement has taught us that many projects for developing nations have been released. Unfortunately the manufacture and engagement opportunities of many of these projects can sometimes exclude their intended audience. We’ll be addressing this by sharing the benefits of open hardware with the right users.

We would like to upskill as many people as possible. The Open source movement is the only way to do this.

The case of One Laptop Per Child

A few articles have been written on the fallbacks of the One Laptop Per Child initiative. Most summaries mention the impact and expected outcomes of the introduction of Laptops to the developing world. One recurring conclusion amongst these articles is based around the lack of actual improvement or change in mathematical or literacy skills over time. A specific study carried out by the Economic Research Department of the Bank of Mexico, looks at the impact of OLPC over two years in Uruguay. The study, published in 2014, found that:

“...the program had no effects on math and reading scores. The zero effect could be explained by the fact that the program did not involve compulsory teacher training and that laptops in class are mainly used to search for information on the internet.”

This conclusion encompasses our core goals and values we aim to reach and stay true to. The educational aspect that comes with the STEMcase is just as important as the capabilities of the case itself. Voluntary graduates and professionals will not only have the work skills adapted to the program, but also the personality and drive to carry it through with success. Once this has been achieved, users of the STEMcase will know what to do with their new found ability to search anything they want on the internet.

Storyboard

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How?

STEMcase Syllabus

The STEMcase comes with a syllabus designed to transfer maker knowledge to communities in the developing world. The educators that deliver the case focus on stimulating interest in STEM development in the local community and work with keen locals to take themselve completely out of the loop, leaving a self-suficient makerspace ready to propegate ongoing maker activity in the local area.

Below is a rough outline of the content of this syllabus.

Badging & Skills

The badging scheme keeps the educators up to speed on hwo close the space is to be run self sufficently. Badges are not only a way of tracking progress and learning in the area, they are also a signifier of when the educators can leave the maker space to run by it self.

Who?

The Open Space Agency

DropFab is the most recent project developed by the Open Space Agency (OSA) which is dedicated to unlocking the talent, insight and creativity of citizen space explorers around the world.

OSA emerged from our involvement while consulting for NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge. During this process we discovered that characterizing the unknown near earth asteroid orbits (NEO’s) is a 6 million hour bottleneck. A problem that is too big even for NASA! We designed and built an open source telescope to provide a platform to increase the number of citizen scientists capable of unplugging this bottleneck. We believe the open source movement can help with problems like this!

Our aim is to contribute to the acceleration of a space faring civilization. The open source movement is the best way to do this!

openspaceagency.com

Ethos of change

  • Opportunity to act on ideas.
  • Creating an industry.
  • Creating capability.
  • Co-Creation in the field.
  • Empowered by Open Source Hardware.
  • Fostered by the local community.
  • Built in replicability.

Principles of the STEMcase

These are the working principles of the STEMcase and the Tech Effect.

How to help us

Become a STEMcase educator.

Help us realizing the STEMcase

Future Vision

The Tech Effect.

This is where we write about the big vision of the Tech effect.