Building Ghana's Sustainable S.T.E.M. Pipeline
"The ability to create is the most empowering thing that can happen to an individual." -- Patrick Awuah, Founder of Ashesi University, Ghana
ELiTE began our journey in Ghana in 2009 by running free [summer] Vacation Classes in a market town in Ghana's Eastern Region. The goal of the program was to equip students with the foundational knowledge to repair and maintain engineering systems that groups like Columbia University's Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter were installing in neighboring villages.
In the years that followed, we continued to grow programming, moving from government high schools to university campuses, impacting hundreds of students across the country through our camps and workshops. Our extensive network of alumni is represented on the campus of every major university in Ghana in a variety of disciplines from nursing and education to IT and bioengineering.
Girls are ELiTE Summer Camp: In its second year, the Girls are ELiTE summer camp seeks to bring together senior high school girls from across Ghana for a two-week residential program. During the camp, girls are empowered to develop their voice through confidence building activities that expose them to principles of computer science, electronic, and entrepreneurship. The camp concludes with a demo day where girls present their technology solutions to some of the country’s biggest programs.
S.I.T.E. (Summer Institute for Technology and Engineering):ELiTE was established in 2011 after a series of successful summer camps in a small market community in Ghana’s eastern region. Now, entering its 6th year, ELiTE’s flagship program has been successfully run in Cape Coast (Ghana), Koforidua (Ghana), Nsawam (Ghana), Magu-Mwanza (Tanzania), Puebla (Mexico), and Kingston (Jamaica).
Computer Science + Electronics Clubs: ELiTE’s Software Engineering clubs have operated for the past 4 years in Cape Coast, Ghana where volunteers from the US and local university students teach elective software engineering classes at public high schools at the end of the school day. Each term ends with a Software Engineering competition that brings together high school students studying computer science from across the country to compete for prizes like laptop computers. In 2016, our Girls are ELiTE program participants will launch CS clubs for girls at their schools to help empower more young women to explore the field of technology.