The STEM Belle
A two-week fully funded summer boot camp, brought together 60 high achieving girls and 15 STEM teachers from our impact schools for an intensive and exciting STEM focused on site camp.
The November 2015 edition of the UNESCOs factsheet of Women in Science, brings to light the huge gap between women and men in exploring careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, collectively known as STEM. This statistics reports that less than 30% of females are involved in STEM fields in Sub Saharan Africa. Statistics have also shown that 7 out of 10 girls have interest in taking up careers in STEM fields but only 2 out of ten eventually end up in STEM.
One major contributing factor to the drop out and subsequent low representation of women and girls in STEM fields especially in Africa, is the gender based stereotypes and cultural barriers surrounding girls in STEM and the inadequate encouragement of girls to pursue mathematics and science at the early school-going age. The minds of girls have and are constantly indirectly manipulated by statements and hearsays thus discouraging and limiting them from following their dreams to achieve their full potentials as scientists, technologist, engineers or researchers.
To attract more girls to STEM by increasing the number of Junior High School girls who choose STEM subjects and retain them through to tertiary levels, thereby re-calibrating the female representation in STEM fields by 2030.
What makes The STEM Belle boot camp special?
The STEM Belle boot camp is unique, because it will be one of the first events to house senior primary and junior secondary school female students from underserved communities, to promote involvement in STEM fields. The strategies to be implemented are approached from the bottom top and are targeted at students in primary school and junior secondary school level as beneficiaries.
- To correct wrong notions and perceptions about girls in STEM and to break gender-based stereotypes and cultural barriers limiting girls from taking up subjects and careers in STEM.
- To enlighten and encourage senior primary and junior secondary school girls (who are yet to make decisions on their career choices and subjects) to join STEM classes in senior secondary school and subsequently take up and lead careers in STEM fields.
- To expose the girls to the diverse facets of STEM fields and the opportunities, mentorships, resources, scholarships and future training, that they can harness to succeed in STEM.
- To reveal to the girls, the day to day life of a STEM professional through a STEM tailored industry tour program.
- To empower them to break glass ceilings that they may come across during their STEM career growth and development.
- To refresh the teacher’s knowledge of their peculiar roles towards leading girls towards STEM fields, through a specialized and intensive teacher’s professional development training
Expected Outcome and Impact
- Our target impact from the Boot camp is to graduate a cohort of fifty (50) females with an unbiased, renewed and positive perspective about girls and women in STEM, who will also go on to positively influence their school mates and juniors back home to join the STEM wagon.
- Increase in number of girls who choose STEM subjects and specializations in Senior High Schools
- An empowered crop of girls determined to break any glass ceiling presently before them or as the progress in their STEM career growth
- Better informed girls on the various fields in STEM and opportunities to leverage in STEM fields.
- Teachers who understand the roles they play in influencing girls into STEM fields.