AFS and BP are expanding their partnership to include India, along with Brazil, Egypt, and the USA as a host of the BP Global STEM Academies, four-week scholarship programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and global competence education. This is the third year that this extraordinary, full scholarship study abroad program for students and active global citizens who are energized to help solve some of today’s biggest global challenges.
Scholarship winners will enrich their STEM knowledge and skills through interactive, hands-on curriculum, while developing critical global competencies, including problem solving, analytical skills, intercultural understanding, and the ability to build bridges across cultures. The program culminates with team projects that offer potential solutions to real world challenges, with an emphasis on climate change and the energy transition. Applications are open until 9 March 2020.
STEM programs like this are urgently needed as they help young people develop innovative solutions to global issues, understand multiple STEM concepts, and comfortably thrive in a diverse workforce. The Academies leverage BP’s deep expertise in STEM and AFS’s established track record in international education to develop the next generation of globally competent leaders, making this a high-demand program.
In the previous two years, over 200 students from 20 countries participated in these once-in-a-lifetime BP Global STEM Academies in three destinations. Evaluations show that 96% of Academy participants feel more familiar with the global energy sector as well as the careers that they can pursue with a STEM degree. The Academies also have a demonstrated success in improving the participants understanding of other cultures and countries, with 90% reporting that they developed a deep concern for the values, feelings, and realities of others, as well as having a growing interest in world affairs.
AFS is proud that 10 additional scholarships will be awarded to teens from Ghana, who will participate in the program for the first time this year. Another exciting development is the addition of India as a new destination for one of the Academies. Participants from Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, India, Mexico, South Africa and the USA are eligible to apply for the 2020 Academies.
“The BP Global STEM Academy has motivated me to pursue my career in subjects related to STEM and has also helped me to adopt the qualities of a global citizen by making me collaborate with students from different parts of the world. It was a great learning experience and a great intercultural platform to be in,” says a USA Academy participant from India.
“It was a great opportunity for me to meet new people of my age from across the world, make lifelong friends and memories whilst discovering more about the upcoming STEM industry and how it will shape the future. It also allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for different cultures and how diverse the world is,” says an Egypt Academy participant from the UK.
The Academies are designed to ensure that the STEM community is inclusive for all teens of all backgrounds – cultural, economic, etc. – such that international education opportunities are open to those who may not be able to afford to go abroad. The BP Global STEM Academy scholarships cover the full participation fee, transportation and living costs of all attendees.
All 2020 Academies include activities with local communities, families and high schoolers, as well as workshops to build intercultural leadership and global citizenship skills. All participants will receive mentorship and career guidance from BP experts. Other program highlights include:
- Brazil (June 13-July 11): innovations in renewable energy; field trips to solar, wind, and thermal plants; visits to the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Institute of Physics, Brain Institute, and Digital Metropolis Institute.
- Egypt (July 1-July 29): urban environmental sustainability practices, water conservation, waste management, and microbiology through hands-on activities both in the field and in laboratories.
- USA (July 5-July 31): latest advancements in STEM at the University of Houston, field trips to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital, and Sweetwater Preserve.
- India (July 12-August 9): robotics and technology driven software, trips to explore innovations in STEM fields at laboratories, universities, and in the private sector.
“I believe that the world is at a critical time where we need more teenage boys and girls of all backgrounds aspiring to STEM careers. Equally, our world needs future leaders with cultural fluency and the ability to transcend different languages, beliefs, and cultures in an intuitive way,” said Helmut Schuster, group human resources director, BP.
AFS President and CEO, Daniel Obst added, “STEM programs are in demand globally, and we at AFS know that we must do everything we can to make sure these programs are diverse and inclusive. This inspired us to keep partnering with BP and empower more young people to confidently pursue their career interests and take their first steps to becoming active global citizens.”
To learn more please visit afs.org/stem-academy-scholarships.