STEM camp for young girls ends in Accra

An eight-day Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) camp to unearth scientific potentials in young girls ended in Accra on Saturday.

 Dubbed the Accra STEM Camp and held on the theme,“Renewable energy and robotics for sustainable development”, it was attended by 40 participants between the ages of 11 and 19 years.

It was organised by Visiola Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) in collaboration with GSR and sponsored by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

It sought to unearth the hidden scientific potentials in the girls towards bridging the gender gap in STEM fields to help boost Africa’s technical skills base for long-term socio-economic transformation.

The participants were able to use the skills acquired to invent any STEM device that would be the changing factor in their community, with the use of scrap materials.

With the STEM knowledge and skills they were able to manufacture a washing machine, robotic pedestrian crossing, road sweeper, a conveyer belt, an indoor cooling system and a ventilator that could use both solar and electricity.

The national programme analyst of UNFPA, MrsAdjoaYenyi, who jointly presented certificates and other prices to the participants urged for more opportunities to influence girls participation in STEM to erase the myth that “STEM related subjects are more suited for boys”.

She expressed the UNFPAs commitment to support Visiola Foundation organise more STEM camps and clinics for young girls who are the country’s future leaders.

“We need to have more STEM camps and clinics in order to have a strong potential for increasing girls interest in science as STEM is not only physics and mathematics, but should be seen as a integration of disciplines that develop creativity, research skills, teamwork and encourage the store of science and technology,” she added.

MrsYenyi indicated that girls also have a unique opportunity to interact with young female scientists and learn from the wide range of opportunities offered by the STEM subjects, adding that, STEM for girls would also offer proper information on reproduction health to ensure that their future aspirations are not derailed through unplanned pregnancies.

The co-founder and president of Visiola Foundation, MrsLade Araba, said the skills exhibited by the girls were creativity needed to them to build their self-esteem and confidence to venture into the technological world.

“ You have proven that you can become great leaders who could achieve more if only you could believe in yourselves in order to get that to get needed motivation and perseverance succeed, please never give up, celebrate your failures because it is nothing to be ashamed of, as it will open more doors for future successful attempts,” she added.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

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