Filmed by the IET’s in-house production team, IET.tv, the documentary captures the trials and tribulations of the build for Rainbow Hope School in Malawi in May 2019. Struggling against the heat, working in adverse conditions and trying to stick to a budget, the team of engineers soon realise the magnitude of the challenge.
As well as building the facility, the group ran STEM workshops, worked with teachers and inspired students about the possibilities within STEM.
Dr Ozak Esu, IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year 2017, took part in the expedition. She said: “The STEM Build Malawi project allowed me to collaborate with an international team of brilliant engineers and use my skills towards empowering a progressive community. I really hope this film will inspire young people to take a closer look at engineering and see its positive impacts on society and the engineers too!
“I also hope that it encourages other engineers to collaborate, keep a global perspective and be inclusive of local communities when undertaking sustainable development projects. I’d like to thank the IET for supporting my ambitions to be part of this project through the IET Travel Award.”
Mark Reynard, Head of IET.tv, added: “The STEM Build Malawi project came to us through our connections from working with women engineers across the globe creating our award-winning films for the IET’s prestigious Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards. The whole concept and delivery of a STEM laboratory in Malawi designed and built by a team of engineers within 10 days was a story that the IET couldn’t miss the opportunity to be involved in. We are so excited to be working with such inspirational women and a project that will inspire and influence the next generation.”
The STEM Build Malawi project was funded through a crowdfunding campaign led by Katy Toms and Kelly Jeffery and supported by Gemma Glover and Hannah Shenton working with Orbis Expeditions and CISER, based in Malawi. It included engineers from across the UK, South Africa and the Asia Pacific Region, as well as two NHS nurses. Rainbow Hope Secondary School was opened in 2017 and educates girls and boys from the surrounding community, with just over 120 students attending. The new ‘Kamkwamba Building’ supports the schools’ aspirations to enhance their science programme for their students and provide an IT facility for the students and other higher education learning.
STEM Build Malawi will premiere on the IET’s YouTube channel at 8pm BST on Thursday 11 June 2020. The premiere will feature a live chat for anyone watching to ask all 25 engineers that took part and the IET.tv film crew any questions.