IREX is inviting applications from eligible applicants for the World Smarts STEM Challenge (WSSC) – a virtual exchange program that supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in the United States and Ghana. High school students from the Washington, DC metro area and secondary school students from across Ghana come together virtually to solve global issues in their communities with STEM solutions.
The program improves STEM skills, strengthens cross-cultural communication, and develops global competence while enhancing students’ enthusiasm and commitment to STEM learning and careers. IREX will partner with North Carolina State University to research how global competence and virtual exchange can expand access to STEM education.
- Increase student interest and engagement in STEM and information communication technology and STEM and information communication technology careers over time.
- Increase digital literacy, cross-cultural communication, and global competence in students.
- Build enduring connections between students and teachers in the US and Ghana.
- Prepare students for a dynamic and changing workforce through virtual project-based learning.
World Smarts Opportunities
- World Smarts Mentor
- WSSC Mentors lead a team of approximately 8 students as 1/2 of a bi-national team. The mentor could be a teacher, graduate student, or professional who can commit approximately 4-5 hours per week to work with the WSSC.
- Mentors will be provided with a financial stipend for technology and prototype materials. Mentors will also join a cohort of committed educators in the US and Ghana to attend a workshop about the World Smarts Curriculum. All mentors will receive a certificate for professional development hours in Virtual Project Based Learning.
- World Smarts Sponsor
- School Sponsors are teachers or faculty members working at schools in the Washington, DC metro area who are unable to commit to leading a team as a mentor but can commit approximately 1-2 hours per week to facilitate their school’s participation in the WSSC. Sponsors support external mentors by serving as a liaison with the school, coordinating classroom space, and recruiting students.
- Hybrid Mentor Training
- 10-Week Binational Virtual STEM Challenge
- Virtual WSSC Global Expo
- Community engagement
The World Smarts STEM Challenge includes high school and secondary school students in the Washington, DC metro area and across Ghana. Mentors and teachers can apply to lead a World Smarts STEM Challenge team.
For more information, visit https://www.irex.org/project/world-smarts-stem-challenge