The AFS Global STEM Changemakers Initiative aims to give these experiences through STEM, global competence and “sustainability-focused” intercultural exchange programs.
“Skills like cross-cultural communication, empathy, and conflict resolution are mission-critical for our world. Educating more young people to become global citizens is crucial if we want to create a more sustainable future,” said CEO of AFS Daniel Obst.
It will endeavour to equip “diverse young people” with experiences in critical technical and STEM fields – including engineering, digital, data science and wide STEM.
In these “immersive learning experiences”, it will also pair these STEM competencies with intercultural awareness, team work and critical thinking, as well as “global competence”.
The aim of this combination of learning is to help those enrolled to be “prepared to help the world transition” to sustainable practices.
“Educating more young people to become global citizens is crucial if we want to create a more sustainable future”
Crucially, the program is aimed at those in underrepresented populations – especially young women.
“Over the next five years, AFS plans for selected young scholars to be able to participate in one of three distinct programs – AFS Global STEM Academies, AFS Global STEM Accelerators, and AFS Global STEM Innovators,” the announcement reads.
Academies will use hybrid learning and be aimed at young people aged 15 to 17.5 in global cohorts across the world. The academies will be held in Brazil, China, India, the US and the UK and Belgium.
Accelerators is aimed at the same age group, but instead consists of virtual interactive workshops aimed at girls, with a “focus on sustainability and positive social impact”.
Finally, Innovators is driven towards young people aged 14-16 consisting of a virtual curriculum on “global competence skills” and a follow-up, two-day in-person workshops – locations will take place in Perth, Cairo and Jakarta.
The initiative will be running until 2026, funded by bp and run by AFS.
“We are delighted to scale our partnership with bp and advance our shared commitment to more equitable education,” Obst added.