E D U B O T S
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF ROBOTICS
Bujumbara, Burundi, Africa
Central Africa’s First Robotics Program, by Don Chambers
The first STEM curriculum school in Central Africa, the Burundi American International Academy, has reached a milestone to celebrate: completing its first full school year. With donations of school supplies and funds from all over the world, some fortunate students in Bujumbura, Burundi are receiving an education in technology and computer sciences, putting them in touch with a world they might otherwise never know. Older students have received inexpensive Raspberry Pi computers to learn about the wonders of the Internet.
The newly built, three-story school building operates with Burundi’s realities in mind. For example, electricity is an unreliable resource, so the school’s electricity is supplied by its own solar-powered generator.
Unfortunately, at this writing, civil war once again threatens the fragile peace in Burundi. Thousands of people are evacuating every day, refugees waiting on the shore to cross Lake Tanganyika into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Academy, located in the capital on Lake Tanganyika, has suffered losses of staff and students.
This post from the BAIA Facebook page says it all:
Dear Parents, Students, and Staff, We regret to inform you that, due to the departure of many of our teachers, students and staff members … we find it necessary to temporarily suspend operations. We look forward to reconvening as soon as possible. Our intent is to open the school early for those who are able to attend and finish the current school year. This way, students will be able to redeem some of the time lost in this unusual period before the start of the school year 2015-2016. Naturally, we all look forward to Burundi’s prosperous future, and the role our school has to play in it.
Don Chambers, Directeur
The Staff of Robot magazine wishes Headmaster Chambers, his family, and all the staff and students of the Academy a safe and healthy year. We look forward to the future, and news of the school’s growth and success.