The Internet Backpack: Transforming STEM Education, Agriculture and Economic Development in Liberia, West Africa

Mathin Sahr Torto, Danielle Taana Smith, Lee W. McKnight, Prasanta K. Ghosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

Abstract

STEM education is an important part of education systems around the world. It is especially important for developing countries, as they attempt to transition to modern growth and catch up with more advanced technologies for educating students. Investment in public education, especially STEM education, has sparked transformational changes in development processes, with improvements in living standards, healthcare and longevity, food security and other indicators of human development. However, climate change has the potential to erode these gains. For example, food and health insecurities due to the changing global environment and land degradation are major issues facing poor countries. With a focus on improving education for school children in post-war Liberia, our research examines the efficacy of the Internet Backpack in fostering STEM education. The Internet Backpack has been deployed globally as a self-sufficient technology that facilitates learning. In this paper, we discuss the Internet Backpack as a technology applied in STEM learning in Liberia through multi- stakeholder partnerships. We discuss efforts to develop project- based learning curricula which include environmental life sciences programs on sustainable agriculture and forestry, earth science, and life science to protect critically important species. We highlight the importance of implementing technologies such as the Internet Backpack for enhancement of STEM education. We also highlight the importance of STEM education in the 21st century development processes, including prioritizing the mitigation of climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISTAS 2022 - IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society 2022
Subtitle of host publicationDigital and Societal Transformations
EditorsT V Gopal, Laurie Lau, Lennon Chang, Greg Adamson
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665484107
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, ISTAS 2022 - Virtual, Online, Hong Kong
Duration: Nov 10 2022Nov 12 2022

Publication series

NameInternational Symposium on Technology and Society, Proceedings
Volume2022-November

Conference

Conference2022 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, ISTAS 2022
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/10/2211/12/22

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Climate Change
  • Economic Development
  • Internet Backpack
  • Liberia
  • STEM Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences

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