BlackBerry partners Junior Achievement Nigeria to launch STEM Innovation Camps for students


BlackBerry and non-profit organization Junior Achievement Nigeria has launched the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise programme for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Innovation Camps in Nigeria.

Over 55 high-school students from 13 public and private schools took part in the first camp, which focused on business challenges in the field of mobile technology. The Innovation Camp concept was developed through a partnership between BlackBerry and the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise.

The initiative aims to encourage 14 to 18 year old students to consider STEM careers by raising awareness of the field’s possibilities and show-casing industry role models. It builds a bridge between the classroom and the workplace by aligning education with business needs.

At the STEM Innovation Camp, students were asked to create an idea for a mobile application that could be used by students in the classroom. Students also created sales plans in support of their mobile app concept to develop business skills, and the winning team was chosen by a panel of judges incliuding: Bridget Chukwuma, Senior Channel Sales Manager at BlackBerry and Kola Ayenitaju , Retail Channel Sales Manager.

At the end of the day, filled with challenges and a tremendous amount of innovative thinking, the Team 11 Young Engineer for Problem Solving (YEPS), which was comprised of: Osamudiamen Azamegbe (International School, Akoka) Nkemka Chidubem (Fountain Heights Secondary School, Surulere), Abin Zorto (Dowen College Lekki) Olise Azum (Akande Dahunsi Memorial High school, Ikoyi), Bankole Ilerioluwa (Redeemers International Secondary School, Maryland), Ipinyemi Oluwadamilola (Debiruss College Lekki) were selected to represent Nigeria in the Junior Achievement International Finals next month, against thirteen other schools from around the world.

“This was a good programme in which I learnt many things,” said Bankole Ilerioluwa, a representative of the Team 11 YEPS group. “It made me think outside the box and made me showcase myself and it has enhanced my communication skills.”

“BlackBerry was built on the backbone of innovation and entrepreneurship, so we are committed to helping to develop business, science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills,” said Waldi Wepener, the Regional Director for East, Central, and West Africa.“We are proud to support Junior Achievement Nigeria’s quest to develop socially responsible attitudes among business leaders and companies operating in Nigeria.  Through regular STEM camps, we hope to help create an environment of entrepreneurial and innovative thinking.”

The Junior Achievement global final will take place on the 13th June 2013 and include winning teams from the UAE, Spain, Italy, India, Thailand, Argentina, China, Sweden, Mexico, Malaysia, South Africa, Nigeria, Columbia and Indonesia.