STEM & Makers Fest/Expo
23-24 March 2019, Adıyaman University
Provincial Education Director Ahmet Alagoz, Adiyaman University Rector Prof. Dr. Mustafa Talha Gonullu, Hacettepe University representatives, students, teachers, and parents, merhabalar. I am honored to be here in Adiyaman for the first time for the STEM Makers Fest and Expo.
On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I’d like to thank all of the partners who made this expo possible – Adiyaman University, Hacettepe University, Turkish STEM Alliance, Texas Instruments, STEM News Aggregator (bilimiletisimi.com), and especially Prof. Dr. Gultekin Cakmakci for his steadfast efforts to coordinate this impressive event.
Atatürk once said, “Hayatta en hakiki mürşit ilimdir.” The truest guide in life is science. He also said “Bütün ümidim gençliktedir.” All of my hope is in the youth. Here we are today in a room bursting with the enthusiasm of a new generation fully engaged in scientific discovery and innovation. In your lifetime, your generation will face unprecedented challenges. Can humans travel to – or even live on – Mars? What can we do to reduce the effects of climate change or adapt ourselves to new environment? How will new computer technologies like social media and artificial intelligence affect human experience? As Ataturk said, we place our hope in you to address these challenges and many more. Studying STEM will help you to do that.
Unfortunately, many students’ only exposure to STEM fields is in the classroom—poring over textbooks, memorizing formulas, or at best, staring into beakers in dreary laboratories. These experiences aren’t likely to spark the passion and drive necessary to dedicate one’s life to solving the world’s greatest challenges through STEM. This STEM Makers Fest/Expo is different. In today’s workshops, kids get going right away with coding, building, experimenting, and more. We hope these experiences will spark a life-long love of STEM and a strong sense of empowerment.
From the factories that produced the Ford Model T automobile to NASA’s lunar landing; from Thomas Edison’s invention of the lightbulb to the ever-emerging innovations of Silicon Valley, the United States has been at the cutting edge of technological discovery. We at the U.S. Embassy are pleased to partner with Hacettepe University and their partners to foster this same spirit of innovation and discovery here in Adiyaman. We thank you for your dedication to STEM and to the students of Adiyaman. Enjoy the festival!