What would it take to bridge the gap between girls and boys in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields? It is believed that anyone can create/build things out of his/her creativity, but how can one do it? I think it requires one to be interested and committed to face challenges and celebrate successes if the end results look great. How about stimulating someone’s interests through introducing developmental concepts and establish different ways to be exposed to the applications of those concepts?
As of June 12, 2017, Kepler Tech Lab has established a strong partnership with Igire Rwanda Organization, a not for profit organization that empowers youth to use their talents, skills, and opportunities they have to create their own jobs. With Igire Rwanda, girls are being provided with soft-skills at the same time with technical skills through STEM education right in the lab.
The lab is leading four major STEM education (engineering enrichment programs in Computer Programming and Electronics Recycling) initiatives with girls who recently graduated from high school or dropped in the middle of their studies. Students have been in the lab for three sessions a week, 3 hours each session, learning some basics in Electronics (performing resistivity activity using graphite and papers), how to use electronic equipment, and exercise technical communications through a variety of presentations about performed projects/experiments.
The goals of Girls in STEM Education initiative is to encourage equal participation of girls and boys in Engineering fields, more importantly, to facilitate them through independent projects, establish continuity plan of their projects and become their mentors to turn the projects into tech business opportunities or learners be ready to work in a certain tech field.