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It is widely known that there is an increasing demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related fields which are vital to the development and growth of a nation. Whilst demand for STEM continues to grow, there is a significant shortage of those skills. The skills gap is widened further by the dearth of females studying STEM-related fields in higher education such as ICT, computer science, engineering, and physics. UNESCO data (2014 – 2016) reported that globally, only around 30% of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. The same statistics show global female students’ enrolment in ICT as low as 3%. These low numbers have contributed to an under-representation of women within related STEM careers and a shortage of female role models in STEM fields for young girls. 

Nurturing the STEM professionals is a collective responsibility of the society at large including parents, teachers, policymakers, female role models, and industry. It should start at a young age, building interest, and encouraging girls to choose STEM subjects; women are as capable as their male counterparts when it comes to doing the work required of these fields.

To achieve this, it is important to enroll the girl child into STEM education where they will also develop essential life skills, including self-confidence providing them with the ability to participate effectively in society.

In efforts to boost STEM education interest, GearHub is organizing the first-ever girls in STEM education Boot Camp in Kano state. It is designed to equip girls with skills for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related fields. 

The event is organized by GearHub, a maker space dedicated to pushing the boundaries of functional 3D printing STEM Kits to aid teaching and to support learners with disabilities by integrating synergistic manufacturing and design processes in collaboration with the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN). This is a division of The Nigerian Society of Engineers. 

The Girls in STEM Education Bootcamp 2021 is a one-week, interactive event that will explore the power of STEM education to transform the lives of girls and how it can have a positive impact on our future workforce.

The Girls’ STEM Education Bootcamp is aimed at providing 21st-century skills to participants in the art of digital skills and the future workforce.

The training aims to achieve the following objectives: –

  • Spark an interest in science, technology, and other future-ready skills to provide a foundation for lifelong development for girls.
  • Promoting the employment of more female teachers to serve as role models and mentoring out-of-school girls.
  • Raising national awareness in girl-child education and increase political and financial commitment through advocacy and sensitization of policymakers at all levels, as well as parents, school authorities, other leaders, and girls themselves.
  • Exposing participants to digital tools for marketing and e-resource for access to knowledge and Continual Professional Development (CPD).

Training Methodology

The training is expected to train 50 Girls within Kano State in two batches. This will allow a proper knowledge transfer, monitoring, and evaluation. The training course is supported by interactive discussions, role play, case studies, and highlighting the techniques available to the

participants.

  • Use of real-world examples, case studies, and exercises.
  • Interactive participation and discussion.
  • Powerpoint presentation, LCD, and flip chart.
  • Self-test and group activities.

Mode of delivery

Live group instructions.

The sessions will hold from Monday 6th September 2021 – Sunday 12th September 2021 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm each day. The delivery approach will be project-based as the participants will work in groups to accomplish the task. This will help learners not only acquire require technical skills but  also build other soft skills like effective communication, teamwork, and collaboration.

Modules 

The following modules will be covered during the 1-week session:

  • Introduction to Web Design
  • TinkerCad 3D Design
  • Coding and Robotics
  • Digital Marketing

This event is believed to be the torchlight occasion of introducing STEM education in Kano state, and this will be the first of many initiatives that will make STEM education a part of the educational system in the state.

The program will partner with key stakeholders such as the Federal and State Ministry of Education, Kano Education Resources Development (KERD), Brainiacs STEM and Robotics, GE Lagos Garage, Vilsquare Makers` Hub, The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), British Council Nigeria, Teens Can Code, AutoDesk Foundation, Kuunda 3D Kenya, Odyssey Education Foundation, NITDA-OIIE, OSSAP on SDGs Nigeria, other relevant organizations, and philanthropists.
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