Day two of the delegation trip began with a briefing from representatives of the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, including Consul General F. John Bray, where they learned about the city’s status as the most populous in Africa and about how demographic trends put Nigeria on track to having the third largest population in the world by 2050.
American Corner at CcHUB
In the afternoon, the delegation visited the American Corner at CcHUB to engage with students involved in the STEM Rocks initiative, which began in 2015 as a program at the American Corner. Desiree Craig, 2015 fellow of Nigeria, introduced the group to the CcHUB and gave them a tour of the space, and Busayo Durojaiye, 2014 fellow of Nigeria, provided the introduction to the STEM Rocks initiative.
During a panel presentation for the students attending the event, mentor Queen Denchukwu moderated a discussion about opportunities in STEM. Panelists included mentors Heather Frank and Saura Naim and 2014 fellow of Cameroon Sophie Ngassa. The panelists spoke about their personal paths to their careers, the benefits of a career in tech and the challenges they face as women in the field. Following the panel, the students were also given an overview of the TechWomen program by 2016 fellow of Nigeria Remi Hamid.
The delegation then had the opportunity to engage directly with the students through hands-on STEM activities, led by mentor Jessica Dickinson Goodman. The students rotated through three interactive stations:
- Computer coding and building websites, led by Larissa Shapiro
- Making aquifers, led by Maile Smith
- Rain water graphing, led by Saura Naim
While reflecting on the day’s activities, the STEM Rocks students said that they should be more confident with themselves, with one stating “I’ve learned that no one should stop us.” Pamela O’Leary finished the visit with an inspirational closing speech, saying that someone in that room could be the future CEO of a billion dollar tech company.
Reception at U.S. Consulate
In the evening, the delegation group was invited to the Consul General’s residence for a formal reception where they had the chance to network with staff from the consulate and local women and men working in STEM.
Continue following the delegation activities at #TWnigeria!