The Mombasa Girls in STEM Solve IT initiative culminated with their STEM fair on August 13 at Aga Khan High School in Kenya. With support from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and the U.S. State Department Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund, the initiative reached 180 high school girls from 11 schools in Kenya and trained 24 women professionals on a STEM curriculum with its mission to raise girls’ interest in STEM. Through the curriculum, the girls developed projects to address community issues in Mombasa using STEM. They presented their action plans at the fair to a panel of three judges, including Kennedy Wakia, Cultural and Educational Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi; Dr. Suhaila Hashim, Head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Pwani University; and Zani Gichuki, Country Director of Women in Engineering Kenya. Prizes were awarded to the top solutions, which included an application that offers first aid tips and emergency-preparedness advice. Local government leaders, professionals, teachers, students and the general public attended the event.
— AtrashMB • (@AtrashMB) August 13, 2016
— Pwani Teknowgalz (@pwaniteknowgalz) August 13, 2016
The Gulf African Bank donated two desktops and awarded three scholarships to one of the participating schools. In addition, a teacher involved in the training announced that the students who participated in the project had improved their grades since its inception. TechWomen Kenya hopes to make the initiative a recurring, annual event in not only Mombasa, but surrounding counties as well. “It was a difficult road, but the students have been so eager to learn and have motivated us throughout the project,” Umikaltuma Mohamed, 2014 fellow, said.
Their teacher, Mr. Patrick, told us the students grades have improved since the start of the project – that’s impact https://t.co/hUwAyKaFhu
— Kaltuma Ibrahim (@umi_kal) August 14, 2016
The initiative, launched by members of TechWomen Kenya, including 2014 fellows Umi, Serah Kahiu, Sandra Kambo, Sylvia Mukasa, Annie Njenga and Adah Waseka, in partnership with Pwani Teknowgalz, proved successful having gained support from the local government and local businesses. The initiative launched in December 2015, and training sessions for professionals and students began in January 2016 at the senator’s office in Kizingo Mombasa. Global Minimum hosted the first session about design thinking, and similar training sessions were facilitated during the month on science and geographic information systems, software engineering, mobile app development and robotics.