Students and families in the African Immigrant and Refugee (AIR) community face particular challenges when it comes to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, (Art), and Mathematics – STE(A)M. Africans and those of African descent in these professions have been and continue to be unseen and underrepresented. Many students cannot visualize themselves being successful in STE(A)M because curricula so often lack African representation or culturally relevant content.

CAIRO SPACE has particular programming to address this particular need. The SPACE STE(A)M program focuses on African and Black representation, culturally specific content, and individual student needs. It makes students more comfortable with, interested in, and successful at STE(A)M content.


African civilizations have a long tradition of scientific thought and innovation. From 3600-year old texts describing surgical methods from ancient Egypt to leading the world in the identification of the Omicron variant of SARS-COV 2, African peoples have shown that they are essential to the scientific community. African immigrant and refugee students should have an opportunity to learn about this rich history, and see how they can continue its legacy.

Technology & Engineering

The first stone tools are found in Kenya, from times before humans even existed. Ancestors of the Haya people in Tanzania invented carbon steel hundreds of years before Europeans. Cameroon’s Arthur Zang (pictured right), invented the Cardiopad, a novel, portable method of analyzing heart conditions, in 2015. African students deserve to see themselves in these ancient and modern innovators, and have a chance at technological careers.

The oldest known surgical treatise on trauma, written in Egypt around 1600 BCE.


Any culture maintains part of its knowledge through art, and African cultures are no exception. One of the most ancient pieces of cave art is found in Somalia, and suggests an understanding of animal husbandry and the ecology of their environment. Any STEM learning must always include Art to allow students to learn best and maintain a link to their cultural heritage.


Likely the oldest known mathematical object, the Lebombo Bone was found in South Africa. The ancient Greek system of numerals was likely imported from Egypt. One of the inaugural fellows of the American Mathematical Society is Beninese. Math is intimidating to many underrepresented and underserved communities, and AIR students should get a chance to see how members of their community have succeeded in and shaped the field.

Sammy Lokorodi, discoverer of the 3.3-million-year-old Lomekwi 3 stone tools.