STEAM Fun Fest, a premier event promoting education among young children, has underscored the need for Nigeria to encourage children under 18 to acquire technological skills to enhance the economy further.
This message resonated in Lagos at the third edition of the STEAM Fun Fest Conference and Exhibition, tagged: “Empowering the Next Generation for the Future of Work”.
One of the Conveners of STEAM Fun Fest, Titi Adewusi, said experts were invited to teach the children the necessary skills “To aid national development, noting that building a better future for Nigeria should be a joint goal”.
The event, she added, was to spark interest in children in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. “It is about letting them experience these skills hands-on. Some of these include robotics, mathematics, animation and coding. We have a steam lab for them to learn these things.
“We want to give children the skills of the future because these skills can help solve problems and critical thinking,” Adewusi said.
She noted that when children have stem education, many of these skills can be built.
“We have moved past the stage of cramming, technology now runs the world,” she added.
According to Adewusi, the co-founder of 9ijakids, they have eight labs that teach game development, animation, coding, science experiment, UI/UX design and coding, among others.
In his keynote address, the Founder of Future Africa, Iyin Abodeji, urged parents and guardians to give children opportunities to practice leadership in their homes and teach them to work as a team.
His words: “Young people need to have character. There is a quiet epidemic in this country that we have to take seriously.”
Abodeji insisted that parents and guardians must teach their children to shun internet fraud, describing technology as a tool people can use for good.
He emphasised: “We need to teach them character. We should always use our technology knowledge for good and not bad. It is not for creating problems.”
Accordingly, Abodeji underscored the purpose of STEAM education as a knowledge programme to create solutions that real people can benefit from.
On his part, the Access Bank Product Manager for Youth Segment, Omoyola Oladipupo, pledged the bank’s continuous support for innovations to enrich the country’s young population.
He said: “The youths are 70 per cent of the Nigerian population. For you to win in the marketplace, you have to be intentional about the youth.
“If the youth today is 70 per cent, it means in the nearest future, the employees in the value chain will transmit to the equivalent of 70 per cent.”
To achieve this move, Oladipupo said there is a need to follow young people through their life’s journey from cradle to grave, so the aim is to capture them now that they are young.
The children had several engaging sessions, including career talks, hands-on STEAM activities, science experiments, game design, e-sports, flight simulators, 3D painting, arts and math, robotics, and more.