Somali Girls and Women in STEM

 

Changing the game for Somali Girls and Women in STEM

 

Our Belief

We believe in the combined power of girls, parents, teachers and mentors to build confidence in young girls and shape their futures in STEM fields.

  • We envision a world where women feel confident to pursue STEM careers and are equally represented in the STEM workforce.
  • ‘Girls in STEM’ inspires girls to visualize themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers and empowers them to pursue STEM professions.

 

Approach

  • We provide a platform for established career women in the STEM fields to collaborate, share ideas, and implement STEM projects in the country.
  • Our research-backed approach to STEM education brings a unique perspective to our ‘Girls in STEM’ workshops.
  • We inspire girls to develop interest and confidence in STEM through hands-on activities, parental engagement and positive female role models.

 

Making a difference for Girls and Women in STEM

STEM has been a male-dominated field for a long time. Lack of STEM skills among women deprives them of many job opportunities. The jobs of the future will mostly require STEM-related skills. By supporting STEM activities for girls and women we are preparing Somali girls and women for the jobs that matter most. We have developed the following workable solutions to help girls and women:

  1. Mentorship programs for girls and women in STEM
  2. Nationwide collaboration
  3. Networking with peers
  4. Community Outreach
  5. National and International STEM conferences

Closing the gap requires tapping into women’s and girls’ creativity, providing encouragement and connecting STEM subjects to real-world examples.

Encourage hands-on experiences

Students studying STEM need a supportive learning environment that rewards hard work and exploration and provides hands-on experiences. This is why we are determined to include and encourage them to get involved through hands-on experiences. Our STEM activities are fulfilling and fun. We don’t want to leave any girl or woman behind. We want to move together and ensure they prepare adequately for the STEM field.

 

Hands-on computing education

We bring computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels. This includes teaching coding and programing to girls and women.

STEM Lab

We have a fully-equipped STEM lab through which girls and women can acquire and share knowledge in STEM fields. We offer interactive sessions, including STEM design thinking programs, prototyping and tips for pitching projects.  The STEM lab also functions as a growth hub for girls and women in STEM where they are provided with mentorship and gain essential skills for excellence not only in STEM but also in their lives.

Generating Excitement

When women learn about real-world STEM jobs, their perception of the creativity and positive impact of STEM can more than double. The excitement and fun in learning STEM subjects encourages girls and women, thereby bridging the gender gap in STEM careers. Our activities are tailored with the needs of the participants in mind and we always strive to offer a meaningful and enjoyable learning experience.

Through our programs, women and girls develop a keen interest in working in STEM fields as they experience first-hand the real world of STEM jobs.

 

Why Girls and Women in STEM?

Student interest in STEM degrees has grown significantly in recent decades. While many students are naturally interested in these subjects, the increase in STEM degrees is largely driven by the abundant job opportunities and competitive salaries awaiting graduates from these disciplines. According to data released by the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), the number of bachelor’s degrees earned in science and engineering grew by 19 percent between 2009 and 2013. In contrast, degrees earned in non-STEM fields increased by just nine percent during the same period. The NSC also estimates that occupations in STEM will grow by nearly 25 percent in the coming years.

Women’s participation in these disciplines has remained relatively low over the past 15 years, with a small increase in engineering and computer science but with decline in some fields. The overall pattern is clear: there is a notable gender gap in most STEM fields and an enduring and extremely large gender gap in engineering and computer science.

Research shows that the lack of women in certain STEM fields discourages other women from pursuing degrees in STEM fields.  Traditions compel women to embody specific gender roles that discourage them from pursuing STEM jobs. This is why Somali STEM for girls and women seeks to create awareness, increase access to STEM facilities and empower girls and women in STEM fields.