Stakeholders rally to increase female participation in STEM fields
The overall objectives of the 2017 Stemma Hands-On Empowerment (SHE) initiative, organised by Christopher Kolade Foundation (CKF), was to stir curiosity among female students and equip them with skills that would allow them explore the exciting world of science and technology.
Key speakers at this year’s event, tagged “SHE Science and Technology Fair for Girls by Girls,” affirmed that creating programmes and initiatives on science and technology early in life will propel the girl child’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Chairman, CKF Board of Trustees, Mrs. Beatrice Kolade, lamented the huge gap between male and female participants in STEM fields, which informed their decision to equip them with life-long skills in the realms of science and technology, while also offering personal development, leadership and ethics education.
“Our aim is to bridge the gap, and bring it closer. We have trained over 460 girls in partnership with Lagos State Government. We believe in the school of thought that says ‘when you train a woman, you have trained the world.’ Women takes care of the home, the family and the society at large, and must be rightly equipped to actively participate in STEM activities which is the in thing now,” she said.
The key speakers, which include Lagos state deputy governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule; Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Future Software Resources Ltd., Nkemdilim Begho; Founder, Pearls Africa Foundation, Abisoye Ajayi; and Alumni Relations Director, Lagos Business School, Bunmi Afolabi, in their respective remarks maintained that the stereotypes around girls and science must change.
They urged the girls to dismiss every notion that intends to inhibit their interest in STEM subjects, adding that the fastest growing career and greater opportunities abound in science and technology.
The fair in which over 400 pupils from select public schools in Lagos participated, featured innovative project designed by members of the SHE initiative clubs. Some of the innovations on display were Smartphone Controlled Lamp; Puppy Rescue; Temperature Light Intensity Display System; Smart Digital Wireless Medical Assistant; Space Fighter, among others.
Consultant with the Foundation, Omobola Lana expressed regrets that STEM students are still predominantly male, as insufficient attention is being paid to girls’ participation in different areas of learning, including science and technology.
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