An array of sensors, batteries, motors, and cables lies before wide-eyed students. These children see the opportunity to build, tinker, and explore. But for educators, this is a long-term investment in the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals.
Today’s global economy demands STEM professionals who are critical thinkers and innovators, with practical experience in technology and engineering. But in Moldova, opportunities to embrace STEM are limited in the labor force and also in the classroom.
How can Moldova combat the shortage of skilled workers in STEM? By educating the future of the country’s economy — youth.
To nurture the next generation of STEM professionals, Moldova’s government, education, and business communities are making STEM improvement a national priority and tackling a number of challenges.
For one, traditional curricula lack an emphasis on information technology (IT), one of Moldova’s rapidly growing sectors. Furthermore, with fewer students studying STEM in university, the sector’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is faltering. The decline in STEM education in Moldova over recent years threatens the entire economy. So the Moldova Competitiveness Project (MCP), funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics, is creating opportunities for young learners to experience STEM in the classroom and potentially as a career.
In partnership with the Moldovan Ministry of Education, MCP is introducing STEM in Moldova’s classrooms through educational robotics. Robotics captivates students with the exciting and hands-on application of science and coding. Across 76 educational institutions and seven libraries in Moldova, MCP is implementing RoboClub, an educational robotics initiative that brings real-world engineering challenges to the classroom.