A week-long campaign will celebrate the World Science Day for Peace and Development as well as educate and encourage girls to pursue STEM education. The #STEM4Girls initiative has been started by Covestro, Nehru Science Center and Greenlight 4 Girls and they reached out to Mumbai for the first time. The initiative had its first drive in the city and they want to eventually spread to other parts of India. The #STEM4Girls workshop aims to educate around 1,500 girl students in the age group 11 to 15 years about STEM at Nehru Science Center, Mumbai.
Speaking to the media at the sidelines of the workshop, Ajay Durrani, MD, Covestro India said, “The world is currently facing a dearth of women in the STEM-related fields. The situation is not very different in our country too. Along with business ambitions, Covestro has always aligned its corporate social responsibility activities towards promoting overall wellbeing of the society and support of educational programs like g4g. The campaign #STEM4Girls is our contribution to support government’s ambitious Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao initiative. We, at Covestro, believe such workshops will be able to help the schools, teachers and students to regain the lost affinity towards STEM subjects and professions. Without a strong base in the STEM, we believe the dream of becoming an innovation-based economy will remain elusive.”
In continuance with its efforts to promote science education in India, these workshops will aim to enhance awareness among teachers and students about the value of learning, with a special focus on science and mathematics. Every day approximately 200 girl students from public aided schools will be taught about various STEM-based concepts through demonstrations for an entire week.
A recent study by Belong.co reveals that there is one woman engineer for three men engineers, leading to the fact that the Indian technology industry has just 26% women in engineering roles. This reinforces the assumption that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs attract fewer women. In addition, Kelly Global Workforce Insights (KGWI) survey on Women in STEM showed that 81% of women in STEM fields in India perceived a gender bias in performance evaluation. Such hostile work culture, coupled with the pressures of home is making women leave STEM professions.
“STEM is a powerful approach to help students enjoy learning and hook them to see the practical application of reading, writing as well as science and mathematics. The education system should make earnest attempts to strengthen the understanding of science at school level curriculum to foster a tomorrow that is filled with innovative minds,” said Dr. Shivprasad Khened, Director, Nehru Science Center, Mumbai during the launch of the campaign.
Together, Covestro and g4g share a common mission to expose more girls to STEM subjects and role models and increase their participation in STEM careers. Commenting on the initiative, Melissa Rancourt, Engineer, Entrepreneur and Founder of greenlight for girls said “Around the world and across the United States, wherever g4g goes, we see how profoundly interested girls are in science. Our goal is to capture that interest and get girls thinking about the possibilities of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to build a future talent pipeline of female STEM leaders worldwide.”
According #STEM4Girls workshops like these help build great thinkers, innovators, engineers and scientists which are critically needed for the development of the society. This one-week long initiative marks the first ever g4g event in Mumbai.
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