Science boot camps are important in attracting, advancing and retaining girls in STEM fields. They give participants an opportunity to intensively explore different STEM concepts, discover their passion and develop future career paths. It is also important for building useful networks and connections
Unfortunately, girls in under resourced schools are largely not opportuned to experience science boot camps. The STEM Belle is however out to change this narrative and has launched an innovative solution, the first ever STEM boot camp for school girls and teachers from low income communities.
The maiden edition of The STEM Belle boot camp held in September 2019 and brought together 59 high-achieving secondary school females, and 13 STEM teachers to engage in interactive STEM training, career mentorship sessions, STEM industry tours, and STEM competitions.
At The STEM Belle boot camp, our girls are taught in detail, the science behind modern technology and practical downstream applications of technologies such as robotics, drone technology, Artificial Intelligence, coding, 3D printing amongst many others. They work in groups in the camp, and engage in several STEM competitions which helps to develop relevant soft skills needed in STEM spaces.
The girls also go on STEM Industry tours where they engage industry experts in discussions around industry best practices, career opportunities and sightseeing of production processes. This strategy has been effective as it helps the girls consolidate their classroom learning and also helps them identify prospective career opportunities across various STEM industries.
At the start of the boot camp, the girls are given a camp project, which they have to work on individually. This project is presented during the closing ceremony to the guests in a scientific manner. During the 2019 bootcamp, the girls developed their 10-year STEM career plan, which they presented in poster form at the closing ceremony.
Preparations for the 2021 boot camp are currently underway. If you would like to collaborate, partner or donate towards the 2021 STEM Belle boot camp, please click here.