An official website of the United States government

September 21, 2023

STEAM Camp in Thies

STEAM Camp in Thies
Remarks by Jonathan Fischer
Deputy Chief of Mission

Hello, everyone!
I’m delighted to be here with you today at American Corner Thies. 
 I’ve been looking forward to this visit and the chance to meet all of you during your STEAM Summer Camp. I’ve heard you’ve been exploring the arts, robotics, and engineering over the past few weeks. I can’t wait to see some of your creations. 

It means a lot to us that you’ve chosen to spend some of your vacation at our American Corner, and I hope you’ll find more and more reasons to join us here over the coming years. American Corners like this one are special places. 

Not only are they small windows into the culture and values of the United States, but they are also places where we can learn from one another, share our ideas, and try to foster new professional and educational aspirations, especially among young Senegalese like yourselves. 

This program on STEAM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics—is especially important for the embassy, and STEAM education is a high priority for the United States. We focus on STEAM because these aren’t just subjects in school; we know from experience that the skills you’ve been working on this month are tools that can open up new educational and professional opportunities for you. 

They’re also skills that equip inventors and entrepreneurs to develop innovative new technologies and ideas, to launch businesses that might one day create jobs for hundreds of people.  Those are big dreams, but those kinds of dreams become realities every day, and more often than not, it’s the dreamers with a strong foundation in STEAM fields who are turning those dreams to realities.  

Whether you’re painting like Andy Warhol or programming a robot, you have the potential to do something extraordinary.  I hope this camp has helped you learn new ways to solve problems, think creatively, and express yourself through the arts. And in case you’re wondering why we connect Art and the rest of those subjects, it’s because art helps people think creatively about the world around them, to see things other people might not see. 

We need that kind of vision in our next generation of innovators and leaders. We want you to have fun at this camp, of course. But we also hope this camp is the beginning of new things for many of you—a step toward an exciting career or toward finding ways to help your family, your community, and your country. 

And we hope that this camp will be your first step or next step in building a relationship with our American Corner, our Embassy community, and the United States more broadly. I want to thank everyone who made this camp possible—the organizers, the teachers, and especially all of you.  

Thank you for spending part of your school holiday with us, and thanks for your energy and creativity! 

Keep it up!