REPORT OF OUR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) SYMPOSIUM IN COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD
Mega impact foundation (MIF) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization in Nigeria (CAC20517) our focal areas include human capital development for women and children with special bias for girls to create more opportunity for them and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality include areas such as access to education, reproductive health, protection from discrimination and violence against women.
One of our major objectives is to bring social development to women and girls in Nigeria through leveraging technology to provide access to education, capacity development and mentorship.
In commemoration of the International day of the Girl Child 2021 themed “Digital Generation. Our Generation”, MIF in collaboration with BigT Infotech Soutions Limited and Madonna College on the 8th of October 2021, hosted female Science Students from both private and public schools across Asaba to a one day symposium where participants were provided with 21st-century skills sets to help shape their future. Highlights of the event include, an Inter-school STEM Quiz competition, Use of real-world examples, case studies, and exercises. Interactive participation and discussion. Powerpoint presentation, LCD, and flip chart. Self-test and group activities. It was facilitated by professionals from the STEM Industry and they engaged the students on practical, experiential and informative sessions aimed at sparking their interest in STEM,
Our major aim is to champion the cause of a gender-equal world where every girl is born with limitless opportunities to thrive, both as individuals and within their communities.
Funding for the Initiative
The event was supported by a collaboration of Non-Governmental organizations, individuals and other stakeholders who came together to support the initiative by contributing their quota to the success of the event.
The event was held on the 8th of October, 2021 at the school hall of Madonna International College, Asaba, the event started at around 11:00 am as guest were seated at the time. The organizers made sure that all Covid’19 protocols were followed.
The event was chaired by the Honourable Commissioner of Humanitarian and Community Support Services, Barrister Bridget Anyafulu and other professional facilitators on STEM Education. The Executive Director Mega Impact Foundation, Ms. Florence Ogonegbu got the event running with an introduction of the NGO and its objectives.
Highlight of the event included, a Quiz Competition, Interactive Workshop, Focus Group discussions and hands on training.
Research and Findings
The girls through focus group discussions deliberated on issues concerning the key factors perpetuating Gender gaps in STEM and came up with their own submissions.
After the group discussion, each group represented by a student then made a presentation of the outcome of their findings to the whole audience. Some key factors mitigating against girls embracing STEM education were highlighted and they include but not limited to the following.
- Gender Stereotypes
- Male-Dominated Cultures
- Fewer Role Models
- Maths Anxiety
Schools In Attendance:
Madonna International College
Government Model Secondary School
West End Mixed Secondary School
Anglican Girls Grammar School
St Brigids Girls Grammar School.
Infant Jesus Academy.
Glorious Kids Academy
Prime Crest School
We are sure that the girls were better equipped with the necessary information on how to become better in their academic and personal lives, the winners of the quiz competition and other participating schools received prizes and also certificates of participation
We noted the challenges girls are facing in embracing STEM education through the findings of the focus group discussions as well as their recommendations.
Our Future Projections/sustainability of the initiative
Our future plan is that this initiative be driven by MIF and her partners through collaboration with Ministry of education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of women affairs and other relevant agencies.
We are proposing to activate STEM clubs in schools especially for girls to help spark up interest in STEM education at an early age which will motivate them to embrace STEM careers in future with collaboration of relevant agencies.
We are hopeful that with access to more funding we will be able to reach more girls especially those who truly deserve to be supported in their education.