STEAM ToT Training
Female students represent 35% of all the students enrolled in STEM- related fields of study at this level globally. Only 3% of female students in higher education choose information and communication technologies (ICT) studies. This gender disparity is alarming, especially as STEM careers are often referred to as the jobs of the future, driving innovation, social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Differences are often observed by disciplines, with female enrollment lowest in engineering, manufacturing and construction, natural science, mathematics and statistics and ICT fields.
Too many girls and women are held back by biases, social norms and expectations influencing the quality of education they receive and the subjects they study. They are particularly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and consequently in STEM careers. Girls appear to lose interest in STEM subjects with age, particularly between early and late adolescent. This decreased interest affects participation in advanced studies at the secondary studies and higher education.
It is for this reason that FAWE Kenya through the facilitation of MICROSOFT is running the second phase of the STEAM Project. In this project, we aim at promoting STEAM education especially in the areas of Information Communication and Technology. It is a year long project in Nairobi where the beneficiaries are students who are trained in Web and App development skills in order to empower them to take up the STEAM related subjects.
We were able to take Teachers (from 8 schools), youth and various stakeholders through a 4-day ICT and life skills training. The ICT training was aimed at equipping teachers with skills which they would in turn pass down to their students. The 8 schools would train their students for the next two months after which they will compete in an inter school competition. We hope that the teachers will adequately share this information with assistance from the youth allocated to the schools.
As we know, the key to helping girls have more confidence in their STEM abilities is to ensure they have role models, mentors and communities to teach and encourage them. We have the Tuseme mentorship programme attached to the ICT training that will offer a platform where the students gain skills from the different STEM professionals. Role models can have a dramatic impact on girls’ interest in these fields and, to some extent, their persistence in sticking with them and advancing.