Empowering Girls for Development
STEM education is an important part of a well-rounded education for students. It is an education that provides access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the fundamental building blocks taught at pre-tertiary educational levels. STEM aids students in imbibing a passion for inquiry and discovery and foster skills such as persistence, teamwork and the execution of using acquired knowledge to new situations. The growth mindsets and habits that inculcate one’s ability for academic resolve, and lifelong learning in a dynamic global marketplace, are built on a robust STEM education.
In Nigeria, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is generally seen as courses for the men while the women are encouraged by their parents to pursue careers in the liberal arts.
On March 8, 2019, South Saharan Social Development Organisation in collaboration with TECH X Innovation Hub organized an event to commemorate the International Women’s Day at University of Nigeria Enugu Campus. The theme of the celebration was “Think Equal, Build Smart and Innovate for Change”. The event was aimed at providing opportunities for young ladies and girls to learn how to use technology to fight poverty and building a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In attendance were serving National Youth Service Corp members, students from University of Nigeria Enugu Campus and Enugu State University of Science and Technology and also secondary school students from Day Secondary School Independence Layout Enugu, Government Secondary School G.R.A, Enugu and Umuchigbo Community High School Iji-Nike.
The Executive Director of SSDO addressing the participants at the event.Speaking at the event, both the Director of TECH X Innovation Hub Mr. Andrew Agbo and the Executive Director of South Saharan Social Development Organisation Mrs. Nkechi Igwe, admonished the participants on the need to believe in themselves and their ability to use technology to solve problems around them. They further mentioned the opportunities available for them to build a career in STEAM. The participants were encouraged to look beyond the limitations of their environment and press on to achieve their dreams.
The guest speaker was Uchenna Onwuamaegbu Ugwu, who is the Founder of Edufun Technik, an organization that is committed to empowering underserved children, youths and girls with STEM and Robotics Education. Since 2014, her organization has taught approximately 4,800 school children— over 60% of whom have been young girls. Uche made global headlines in August 2018 when she led a team of 5 secondary school students from Anambra State to the Global Technovation Challenge in Silicon Valley and her team won the competition, coming first out of more than 2000 apps submitted from across the world.
While speaking at the event, Uche called out to young girls and ladies to look beyond limitations and see their abilities as their weapons to strike a balance and create a better world.
While reacting to the event, the participants were elated at the knowledge and exposure they got from the experience sharing session. Also, one of the students from Government Secondary School G.R.A Enugu was given a scholarship to learn coding at Tech X Innovation Hub.
The Event was also marked with a question and answer session, spoken word, quiz and scholarship competition.