The AFS Global STEM Academies combine digital and in-person learning, gathering youth from more than 18 countries worldwide, in which scholars enrich their sustainability knowledge and STEM skills through interactive, hands-on curriculum, while developing critical global competencies, including problem-solving, analytical skills, intercultural understanding, and social innovation.
The Academies begin with a 12-week virtual e-learning curriculum (from home), engaging in global competence skills, social impact, and sustainability-focused workshops, with content co-developed by AFS and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy. The virtual portion of the program culminates with student-led social impact projects and presentations that offer potential solutions to real-world challenges, with an emphasis on sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the topics of climate change and the energy transition.
After completing the virtual curriculum, Academy scholars travel on a 4-week immersive experience to one of the six Academy destinations: Brazil, China, Egypt, Europe (Netherlands & Germany), India, or the USA. Academy programming focuses on critical STEM skills and intercultural understanding for global sustainability, as well as local cultural immersion. Scholars participate in community service and have the opportunity to visit local innovative, sustainability-focused operations to see first-hand how companies and organizations are using STEM skills in practice to address industry and societal challenges, particularly around sustainability.
Program scholars earn the Advanced Certificate on Global Competence for Social Impact, awarded by AFS and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy.