STEM for Syrian Refugees

Hello Generous Supporters of The STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Math) education for refugees’ project!

We are preparing for our 3rd annual trip to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan next month.  With your support in 2018 we were able to establish 10 after school STEM clubs reach and inspire more than 150 students to learn about and practice bringing engineering solutions to issues faced by their communities for continuous 4 months. We are moving closer to our goal to build a year-long sustainable STEM program for youth in the camps.

The need is vast and last year relief agencies saw a diminished funding pool to their already challenged educational budgets.   Astonishingly, in the face of these challenges, teachers who are themselves displaced, continue to work for little or nothing in the hope of seeing the next generation access tools for learning and the ability to ascend and shape their own future.

With your generosity, we were able to support the clubs for 4 months, a significant step toward our goal of sustaining STEM education in the camps. Our goal for 2019 is to provide support for the clubs to run year-round.  We estimate $50,000 is needed to achieve this goal including teachers’ salary and supply cost.  If you can give $500, if you can give $100, if you can give $50, if you can give $10, please do.  Every donation will make a difference to this group of families and children living in the refugee camp. 

All help is greatly appreciated, and updates will be posted once this project goes ahead. If you would like to learn more about the project, see photos and video from last year’s trip, or make a contribution, please visit our Facebook page

Project background

The project was founded in 2017 by Shirin Haddadin, a grade 6 science teacher in Winchester, MA and Ayman Halaseh, a Professional Civil Engineer at CDM Smith in Boston, MA and a Tufts Alumni. They are both from Jordan and speak Arabic. In 2017, Shirin and Ayman first travelled to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, the largest refugee camp for Syrian Refugees in the world, with the following goals:

 1) Build classroom capacity by providing science teachers with science education supplies.

2) Build teachers capacity by conducting a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workshop to encourage the science teachers to include this in their classrooms.

3) Run a hands-on experiential STEM day at the camps for hundreds of students and their teachers with fun, engaging activities that illustrate several basic STEM principles.

The response from students, teachers, and camp personnel to the 2017 trip was overwhelmingly positive. We worked with 20 number of teachers and over 500 number of boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17 participated in STEM day.  

In 2018, we expanded our efforts to return to the camps with a sustainable model for STEM activities that could be run on an ongoing basis by the committed teachers we met. With your generous contributions and technical support from Engineering In Elementary organization (EIE) at Museum of Science (MoS), Center of Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) at Tufts University and the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, the team travelled to Zaatari and Azraq camps in the summer of 2018 and introduced and helped established 10 after school Design Squad Global (DSG) clubs using invaluable training materials and curricula previously translated into Arabic by WGBH.  Over 150 students participated in the clubs with a focus on youth age 14 to 16 for continuous 4 months.

In the DSG clubs students learned to identify and address engineering and innovation challenges in their community using an age-appropriate design process, peer-review and partnerships to build prototypes and final projects.

Here are a few of the projects from the 2018 Design Squad Global Clubs: (1)Water filters (2)Table lamp  (3) AC 

Published articles

Tufts university 

Cambridge collage 

Boston Society of Civil Engineers

Donations (0)

  • Joe Diaz 
    • $10 
    • 2 mos
  • Elizabeth Crowther 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Eric Kenney 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Lauren Hopper 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Darren Mackiewicz 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos

Fundraising team (3) 

Ayman Halaseh 
Raised $3,858 from 36 donations
Stoneham, MA
Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church  
Christine Rioux 
Team member
Raised $810 from 13 donations
This team raised $13,790 from 57 other donations.
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