For an initiative that seemed like it wouldn’t come to fruition, #GoGirlSTEM proved to be a success! It was beneficial for girls and parents alike! Some girls were excited, some came because their parents wanted them to and some came after hearing that there will be some kind of ‘robotics’ involved. Whatever the reason must have been for each of them, all of them left with the same feeling. An interest to know and explore STEM, a way to innovatively use some technological process to fulfil their dreams and the realization that if one is not interested to master STEM, the basics are used in every field.
The six day program comprised of a coding workshop, robotics workshop, industrial visits and a final presentation. The young girls were taught what block based coding means and the backend of it. They were given coding projects to complete. We saw them bring various characters to life through block based coding. They made up a storyline, created characters, animated them, dressed them (which is very important) and had the characters interacting with each other. Some even went ahead to make a game using the code where the characters were able to interact with them. Needless to say, even though we were supervising, we tried out the game and had fun.
There was a home automation project too. This was an eco-friendly assignment for all of them to complete in pairs. It involved making a small sensor-based LED system that would switch itself on only when it detected that there was no light and off otherwise. The system run on a code that was explained to the girls. They were explained that with some efforts, resources and funding, projects like these could be implemented in the country that would prove to be beneficial not only for the country, but the world as a whole.
All hell broke loose (not literally) when the day for the ‘rocket’ workshop came. ‘Why?’ you ask? Well, if it wasn’t enough for the girls to be excited, we joined in on the excitement too. They were given a demonstration as to how a rocket works and how and where it is used.
There were also three corporate visits scheduled during the duration of the program. The young girls were taken to Hitachi, Mphasis and BMC software. They were given information about the workings of each company by the respective representatives, the aim of each company and their infrastructure. There were some presentations prepared and Skype calls arranged to give the girls a taste of the corporate world and the opportunities it has to offer.
The program proved to be a successful one when we heard the girls’ presentations on the final day where parents were also invited. They expressed their views on the program, gave demonstrations of the LED project they were taught and what they took away from the program. The parents seemed equally happy with the program and what their children had to say about it.
The program was an enriching experience for all. We were motivated to do more for the young girls to make them aware of the amazing opportunities they can grab and the girls were excited with the way technology is a part of every field. This only goes to show that their interests lie in STEM, even if it is a track that will lead to the fulfilment of their non-STEM dreams and we should do everything we can to provide them with the essential resources.