Lesotho dates Botswana, eSwatini for STEM expo



MASERU – Lesotho Science and Mathematics Teachers Association (LSMTA) has reiterated the importance of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in day-to-day life. This is, as the association prepares for their first regional STEM expo in collaboration with two other countries, Botswana and Eswatini. The expo is set for the 3rd week of September this year.

Students from the three countries will compete under a series of activities including problem solving, quizzes and innovations. President of LSMTA, Keketso Leteba, said their main focus is to provide a platform for students and educators to exchange ideas and showcase their scientific innovations that will be enable student to solve real life problems.

For students to have a project, they first have to identify a problem and then find a scientific way of solving that particular problem, he said. “For instance; back in 2015, students made a project that can solve the problem of global warming which is the main issue worldwide today. That project failed during the inception stage but was improved upon until it was able to win at the competitions,” he said.

According to Leteba, it is important to support the development of STEM subjects in the country because they have proven to be what is needed in the 21st century and often provides solutions to the many challenges the world grapples with. “Most of the countries that have directed their focus on STEM subjects are advanced and their use or reliance on technology has increased,” he said.

He added that STEM not only contributes to economic growth but also helps in addressing the pressing societal challenge hence the need for collaborative work to inspire the young generation to pursue STEM careers. Such collaborations, he said, are the planned expo.

Joshua Takalimane, who works in the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, said there is need for learners to be exposed to technology at a young age, adding that technology has been part of day-to-day life therefore “Learners should be exposed to programming from primary school so that in the future Lesotho would have specialists that can assist the country.”

The importance of technology, he said, becomes even important at different work places and students should pursue STEM subjects to improve their chances of employment and problem solving skills. The upcoming expo will not only help students to improve their learning process but will also play a role in strengthening relations between Lesotho and it’s neighbouring countries. However, Leteba said they are experiencing financial challenges and are looking for financial support to make the event a success.

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