2017 STEM Summer Camp Construction Programme Comes To An End

The 2017 STEM – Construction Summer Camp with the theme – “Moulding Emerging Construction Engineers,” has come to its end. The programme which kicked off in Lagos on August 6th and lasted for a week is the second edition of construction summer camps organized by the Kaiser Foundation for Social Development, as part of its strategy to address the issues of youth development in Nigeria.

The week featured many interesting activities that were designed to foster the interest of the students in construction careers. The students benefited from presentations and discussions on various construction related careers, delivered by professionals in the construction industry. For example they had civil, mechanical and electrical engineers speak to them, as well as quantity surveyors and project managers. There were presentations by an HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment) expert, and lectures by Quality Control and Quality Assurance professionals. The visit by members of the Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN) proved to be an unforgettable one. The series of invigorating lectures they delivered served to inspire the students to want to reach out for excellence in whatever construction career they aspired for.

One of the most fun activities of the week was the visits to construction project sites within Lagos. The students were thrilled to see in reality, some of the things they had been taught during their classroom discussions. For example they were able to put into practise, what they were taught about safety as they were fully kitted up in their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during all site tours. They even experienced an emergency safety drill to which all of them complied accordingly.

In addition, PERI educated the students on formwork systems at the Ilubirin Show Village site, while Lafarge Ready-Mix showed them different concrete grades and mixes as they took them on a tour of their batching plant. The students were also opportune to meet participants from the 2016 Summer Camp who were now enjoying training and mentorship while doing holiday internship at Construction Kaiser Limited project sites.

The week’s programme included fun and collaborative activities such as the Rubik’s Cube and Lego challenge which helped the students to brainstorm, build, and experiment. The Rubik’s Cube and Lego have been proven to be efficient in teaching children vital STEM skills. There was also the Urban Recycle Project competition which saw the students stretching their creativity as they learned to work effectively as part of a team, while trying to create solutions for the environmental issues faced in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the students benefited immensely from a career guidance talk on construction related careers by a representative of Eleanor Thompson. It was quite evident after this talk that majority of the students now had a clear direction about what they wanted to study after secondary school. They also enjoyed their time with Oche-Obe Oche, a fresh graduate of West Virginia University who talked to them about life in college as an engineering major. The presentation on Leadership by Mfon Ekpo was epic, and had the students feeling driven to pursue greatness. Tokunbo Ifaturoti of Taai International Development Consultancy provided important etiquette training designed for teenagers on one of the days.

At the end of the week, the students presented their Urban Recycle Project to staff of the Kaiser Group and other invited guests. The heartfelt comments made by them was testimony to the phenomenal success of the programme. Almost all of them talked about how the programme made them to be passionate and fearless about whatever career they choose, and hold on tight to the value of integrity. Maryam Birmah, a student from Federal Government Girls’ College Zaria commented, “The Maryam that came here is not the same Maryam that is going back”.

The Kaiser Foundation for Social Development is thankful to Arik Air for providing discounted tickets from Kaduna and Portharcourt to Lagos for the students and their chaperones.

We are also thankful to Tastee Fried Chicken for providing adequate meals and snacks for the students during the programme.

We thank Channels Television and Business Day for partnering with us and showcasing our humble efforts, thereby encouraging other private organisations to support youth development in Nigeria.

We would like to thank Lafarge and PERI for allowing the students to tour their plant and project sites. These companies remain examples of truly great international organisations that genuinely seek the development of people in the countries in which they operate.

We also express our gratitude to Eleanor Thompson for accepting to speak to the children on their career choices.

We thank IBIS hotel for hosting us and providing a meeting room for free during the entire programme.

The efforts of TAAI International Development Consultancy is hereby appreciated.

Below are videos of our recent appearance on Channels TV Sunrise Programme.