Looking into the customs of our society, one would wonder if the society encourages the girl child to build a career that break barriers. In lieu of this, Women beyond borders in August of 2017 made collaboration with WAAW foundation to have a STEM camp for young girls in Akure Ondo State Nigeria. One of the goals of the program was to create an environment and activities to get girls of young age consider STEM related careers in the nearest future. The camp taught Science and Technology not just as school subjects but as life career. The focus was based on renewable energy, Basic computing, Information Technology, Social media as advertising tools, programming, App development and blogging.
As a means of preparing these girls for opportunities, particularly in modern days technology, WAAW foundation and Women Beyond Borders, trained them in STEM and digital literacy skills. They were taught to take up roles right from their early years. The program left them with a refreshed perspective that science is not difficult for any gender, it is just a matter of focus and proper interest. Social skills needed to manage youthful exuberance and teenage life crises were also taken care of. The teenagers learnt to create time management skills, social skills, team management, global thinking and resourcefulness with materials present around them.
Facilitators emphasized that gender was never a barrier to learning in STEM and that hands on STEM can be fun activities for day to day learning and application as they used materials around them to demonstrate the conceivable innovations in Science. It is, however, not true that there are no opportunities for women in Technology, because the opportunities are numerous but only for the prepared ones. There are female programmers, but they are few because many are not prepared for the task of a programmer.
WAAW foundation has repeatedly demonstrated the readiness to walk the talk on the issue of girl child STEM education. Training of Secondary School students at early age will prepare them for opportunities in the Tech innovation industry that is influencing the activities of the twenty first century. Young girls need to understand their place in the world of technology as the jobs available in the century will involve some level of technology. To ensure the opportunities are used positively, WAAW is bringing the young girls together, training them, making them go through team formation and creating technology innovation for the good of Africa.
WAAW Foundation understands that the challenge of gender balance in STEM education is enormous, and as such is partnering with national and International agencies such as the Women Beyond Borders to bring more opportunities to young women in the world of STEM. WAAW will be standing tall and proud of the girls that have passed through any of the WAAW schemes as they definitely will take the largest percentage of the women in the next decade causing the much awaited change we all desire to see in the gender role placed by women in technology. WAAW expects that some of the participants in the Akure STEM will take up the challenge of technology innovation able to bring Africa the best of opportunities.