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Seplat Donates STEAM Laboratories to Boost Innovation in Schools
Seplat Energy has launched its initiative to donate well-equipped STEAM Laboratories to schools to promote a learning environment where students can participate actively in hands-on, practical STEAM learning. The goal is to unleash students’ potential and assist them in developing their science, engineering, mathematics, and art skills by using technology to create, collaborate and complete projects.
The STEAM Laboratory, supported by Solar Energy, has internet access to provide the teachers with a technology-enhanced learning environment to support project-based learning for their students. Seplat STEAM laboratory is designed to help students learn how to work as part of a team, solve problems and apply their knowledge in advanced and creative ways.
Seplat Energy has commenced this initiative with the donation of a well-equipped laboratory firstly to Ihogbe College in Benin City, Edo State. It will extend to more schools in the state and Delta.
Speaking at the event, the Director of External Affairs & Sustainability, Seplat Energy, Nwachuku, noted that, as a company, Seplat distinguishes itself by implementing distinct educational initiatives to support achieving quality education for students and teachers in its states of operation.
“Seplat is excited that the STEAM laboratories will further strengthen the application of STEAM learning that the company has continued to promote in schools through the Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme (STEP). She affirmed that the STEAM laboratory would create a student-centred learning environment, focusing on developing their skills and connecting the STEAM subject areas while preparing them for future careers and the real world”.
The Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programme, known as STEP, equips Secondary School teachers with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to teach students the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning model. Teachers are critical factors towards achieving quality education. Hence, in 2020, Seplat commenced the STEP initiative to empower teachers with the essential STEAM knowledge and skill sets. This highly sought-after programme has delivered immense outcomes for 634 teachers and over 25,000 students in Delta and Edo States secondary schools.
Speaking at the event, the Director of New Energy Seplat Energy, Effiong Okon, asserts that “We (Seplat) started the STEP initiative by training teachers, and now we have taken the next step by investing in the STEAM Lab and providing unique gadgets. This laboratory will significantly change how students learn and how our children’s potentials can be unleashed”.
He further highlighted how the initiative aligns with the company’s strategic business goals: “Although we started with producing oil, Seplat is currently investing in New Energy, and this STEAM Lab will be successfully powered by solar Energy because we have a high sun density. So we do not have to rely on the grid or power-generating sets to run the Lab. We look forward to collaborating with the students and possibly championing new scientific breakthroughs.”
The Seplat STEAM Lab boasts various science devices and tools, including electrical kits, chemical supplies, computers, art materials, and a projector. In addition, there is provision for a whole suite of online STEAM resources to support 3D model creation, develop coding skills, control robotics and more.
The donation of STEAM laboratories to schools attests to Seplat’s commitment to improving creative thinking powered by science and higher teacher-student engagement for a well-rounded education. Also, the Lab, supported by Solar Energy, buttresses Seplat Energy’s aspiration to lead the energy transition in the country towards cleaner, more reliable energy accessible for all. The Energy transition drive is a new worldwide energy sector direction. While it presents new opportunities, it also demands more effective use of technology to support projects and requires new skill sets and higher critical thinking skills. As a result, speakers at the occasion urged the teachers to utilise the STEAM laboratory to support project-based learning and promote student teamwork, creativity, and innovation.
In her speech, the Honorable Commissioner for Education, Edo State, Joan Oviawe, thanked Seplat on behalf of the state government while reiterating that this donation supports the state government’s drive to enhance the role of technology in improving the quality of education.
“The Edo State educational eco-system is proud to be associated with Seplat. This gift is welcome, and we want to assure you that this school would put the Lab to good use.”
The Principal of Ihogbe College, Barrister Johnson Egharevda, expressed the excitement of the entire school as he remarked that his students have also attended Seplat-organised competitions, noting that three of the school’s STEP-trained teachers have developed power banks based on knowledge gained STEP.
Selecting schools to qualify for the STEAM laboratory donation entails a competitive process. There will be a periodic review of schools of STEP-trained teachers to choose from those who display utilisation of their learnings at the STEP programme to create remarkable positive learning outcomes for their schools and students in their respective schools.
Seplat was pleased to note that the STEP-trained teachers at the first school to receive the STEAM lab, Ihogbe College, Benin City, had, despite a relative lack of infrastructure at the school, demonstrated outstanding achievement by applying their learning. These teachers of Ihogbe College, who were beneficiaries of the Seplat Teachers Empowerment Programmes, put into practice the knowledge gained in the STEP programme by designing and producing a Power bank utilising the STEAM principles.
Seplat has continued to validate its commitment to quality education through its flagship educational programmes for schools and teachers. The company pledges to ensure the sustenance of this new initiative and donation of STEAM laboratories to schools through monitoring and provision of support required for the efficient running of the facility.