US Military Veteran Pioneers Innovative STEM Education in Africa

Hear from Ermias M. Hailemariam, a dedicated father and US Army veteran, regarding his journey as the proud owner of the STEM For Kids® franchise in Ethiopia.

US Military Veteran Pioneers Innovative STEM Education in Africa

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 6/14/2024


Ermias M. Hailemariam, a dedicated father, and a US Army veteran, is the proud owner of the STEM For Kids® franchise in Ethiopia. Hailemariam’s journey from Ethiopia to the United States, coupled with his passion for quality education, has led to his return to his homeland to spearhead the introduction of cutting-edge STEM education for African youth.


Hailemariam’s story began with his arrival in the US in the mid-90s, where he pursued higher education and served in the military. After completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, he settled in the DC Metro-Virginia area. As devoted parents, Hailemariam and his wife sought ways to provide their children with the best primary education amidst the challenges posed by the rapidly evolving technological landscape.


Driven by a desire to prepare their children for the future, Hailemariam delved into entrepreneurship, recognizing the need to equip youth with STEM skills from an early age. His search for an educational solution led him to STEM for Kids, a comprehensive program that integrates engineering, programming, and robotics into a fun and engaging curriculum.


“STEM for Kids was the complete package for us,” said Hailemariam and added, “STEM for Kids brings the solution [for educators worldwide]… Curriculum was second to none, truly making STEM fun for kids, bringing engineering to kids’ level, and making them problem solvers. ”


As the owner of the STEM for Kids franchise in Ethiopia, Hailemariam has witnessed the transformative power of the program firsthand. Through summer camps and partnerships with local schools, he has seen children as young as nine excel in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, utilizing advanced technologies like cloud services.


Hailemariam’s commitment to empowering his community extends beyond his own children. He aims to impact 10,000 youth in the next few years, fostering a new generation of innovators who can address local challenges through STEM solutions. By employing skilled coaches and leveraging STEM for Kids® resources to achieve economies of scale, Hailemariam aims to ensure that STEM education remains accessible and affordable across Ethiopia.


“We are the first to bring STEM For Kids to Africa, where such opportunities are limited. We are driven by the fact that these kids are getting world class instructions to inspire their creativity [and learning],” says Hailemariam.


In addition to providing after-school and weekend programs, STEM For Kids Ethiopia is dedicated to social impact initiatives, offering free classes to underserved communities and hiring top-performing students as assistant coaches. Hailemariam’s vision for the future includes expanding STEM education to more African countries, creating opportunities for diverse students to excel in science and technology.


Hailemariam invites collaboration with schools and communities interested in embracing STEM education. Through hands-on projects and real-world applications, STEM for Kids Ethiopia aims to inspire creativity and innovation among youth, preparing them for success in the 21st-century workforce.


To learn more about the summer camps, after-school programs and STEM / STEAM classes being offered in Ethiopia, contact Ermias at, +251 935 222244, or visit




Since 2011, STEM For Kids® has been enabling purpose-driven educators and entrepreneurs to bring life- and career-readiness skills to preK-8 children in their communities. 


With over 1500 hours of STEM activities in various themes covering engineering (aerospace, civil, mechanical, environmental, bio-medicine), technology (coding, robots, Artificial Intelligence, Internet Of Things), business and social emotional learning, educators, parents and students have a lot to get excited about. 


STEM For Kids® ranked #173 on the highly coveted Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list. With a growing network of STEM For Kids® operators, educators, trained teachers, and franchisees, we have impacted numerous communities across the globe. Add your community now, 


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