Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative

The Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative at Case Western Reserve University is a collaboration with STEMpower, an organization that promotes pre-university STEM education in Ethiopia and neighboring countries as a means of fostering peace and economic development in the region. 

What we do

group of students entering school
The Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative emphasizes the impact of engineering on the day-to-day life of individuals living in a transitioning country. Transitioning countries are rich in natural agricultural and mineral resources. More often than not, those resources are exported to other countries to be developed into products, like fuel, paper or soap, that are then imported back into the country and sold—with the profits going back to the country of production.

Our curriculum focuses on teaching pre-university students how to take these natural resources and engineer them into the products they need. By producing products locally, using resources that are naturally and readily available, this production will benefit the local community economically as well.

Our goal is to generate excitement for this type of engineering by engaging high school students in real-world, tangible and hands-on learning experiences. And by doing so, developing the next generation of local engineers who will be equipped to contribute to an enhanced engineering infrastructure that will drive economic growth in their countries. 


About the Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative

The Gelfand Global STEMpower Initiative project was envisioned by philanthropist Mark Gelfand, who built a network of over 30 high schools and STEM centers in Ethiopia and neighboring countries. His non-governmental organization, STEMpower, is the leading proponent of pre-university STEM education in the region. The partnership between Case Western Reserve and STEMpower ensures that the curriculum will have an immediate impact.

The project is staffed by Gelfand Global Fellows–graduate students in chemical engineering who complement their traditional coursework and research with an enriching and impactful experience.