Special commemorations for World Down Syndrome Day in Nigeria

Just like the cellular phone changed the world forever, it would be really great if drone technology left no person behind in its meandering march towards indispensability in our everyday lives.

And in Nigeria, they are working hard to make sure no child is left behind when it comes to drone and robotics technology.

According to a report from The Nation newspaper, efforts by some of the country’s non-government organisations in educational capacity building in STEM, Robotics and drone technology are beginning to offer new opportunities and potential in alternative education choices for people with down syndrome.

In commemoration of the World Down Syndrome Month and the World Down Syndrome Day, Nigeria’s Special Needs Initiative for Growth conducted a STEM, robotics and drone workshop for young adults of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria and their special needs educators, to help them discover and nurture their passion in STEM education and robotics, so that they can explore the option to pursue a career path in science, engineering and robotics technology in this increasingly digital age.

The workshop was supported by the Barack Obama American Corner Victoria Island, Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), ARPG Tech and Street Project Foundation who provided technical, educational mentorship and educational resources for the young adults with down syndrome to promote a multicultural learning culture through digital skills.

GADA’s Tobi Oluwole and Stephane Iheakam, whose organisation is doing remarkable work inspiring young Africans into the drone industry through drone competitions that have so far been held in Zambia and Nigeria, took the participants on how to operate a drone, including how to stabilise the it by adjusting the power and making trajectories with translations and rotations before landing the aircraft.

They also emphasised the issue of safety when operating a drone, exhorting the fact that a pilot must always be aware of his drone’s immediate surroundings, be aware of its speed and battery life to avoid damages and crashes.

“This requires perceptual skills (distance, altitude, orientation) and motor skills (precision, movement) which makes the drone activity fun, highly interactive and educative for the self-advocates of the Down Syndrome Foundation.”

The young adults with Down Syndrome and their educators also had the opportunity to fly the drone and gain real life experiences around the growing technology.

The participants also went through an internship session with Brainiacs STEM and Robotics, an education technology company set up to nurture the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in Africa. The organisation teaches students from across age groups the basics of coding, programming, robotics, animation, 3D modelling and printing, game design and so much more.

Brainiacs STEM and Robotics supported the self-advocates on getting to know more about Brainiacs STEM and Robotics working culture, ethics and responsibilities. The interns were engaged in practical activities related to communications, team collaboration and other working tasks.

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