Robotics STEM Camp – Taking Female Technology Empowerment A Notch Higher
Every day we are witnessing unprecedented levels of ingenious innovation and inventions from the different parts of Africa. As true as this is, there is a social imbalance that is slowly becoming more pronounced as we look at the technology inventions across Africa. The sad thing about this is that it cuts across all the African nations. Hence more effort is being put in place to encourage more girls/women to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related fields. These efforts are being applied across Africa, from the Akirachix association in the far east of Africa (Kenya) to Nigeria in west Africa.
A Robotic STEM camp was held from July 28th to August 3rd 2013, at the Laureate College, in Lagos Nigeria whose theme as the name suggests was Robotics and Renewable Energy for Africa. This STEM Camp initiative event is an ongoing initiative that is the founded by the Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) and Women Technology Empowerment Center (W.TEC). The participants for last year’s camp were drawn from Senior Secondary School classes (SS1 to SS3). The girls were subjected to a high level of quality, exciting and very technically challenging sessions. This one week session was quite brain-teasing by having the girls participants get their hands on desks to make and design various types of robotics, alternative energy generations and supply technologies.
The Robotic CAMP was a highly successful event yielding some very impressive results. The product of this camp makes our today story of Innov8tiv Magazine Fem Bosses in technology and invention. The following are the outstanding young Fem Bosses identified out of the Robotic Camp event:
- Alternative Energy Generator: A team of five young Fem Bosses: comprising of Feykunmi Akindileni of Airforce Secondary School, Joy Olufemi of Princeton College, Grace Ogen and Comfort Ogunojuwo both from Bolade Senior Grammar School. This team came up with a 6×5 Inch windmill which they build from Balsar wood. They utilized a five volts motor to run the windmill and installed a parallel circuit in order to boost the voltage to adequate level to make their windmill generate enough electricity power enough for an entity. Ms. Olufemi was quoted on behalf of the team saying, “What we have made is capable of providing electricity supplies to houses, be used in pumping water from a distant source to homes…”
- Robotics: Another team comprising of the following Fem Bosses: Maria Akpom from Gboya Girls Senior High School, Mercy Ohanacho and Tolulope Adelegan from the Bosgram Collage, made a robot that was navigated using censors to avoid dark spots. Akpom on behalf of her team said that making a robot was not something they previously had thought of. As they saw such an initiative meant for people living in America and other foreign countries. She is said, “After the training, it was unbelievable that we were able to make a robot that is self driven… We are optimistic that robots could be used to help earth moving machines and commonly used vehicles in their routine functions”.This team used the Physics Law of reflection and refraction to make the robot’s censor. This team aims at making a robot that can identify road potholes, pick up objects among other things.
- Water Purifier: Another team of Fem Bosses made a water purifying system technology out of some basic and easily available plastic materials such as plastic containers. This technology was demonstrated to the public, and it showed impressive result by purifying very dirty into water fit for human consumption. This technology could find significant application especially in the arid and semi-arid region of Africa where clean drinkable water is as rare as gold. This technology was made by a team of Femme Bosses comprising of Dolapo Nurudeed from Laureates College and her colleagues.
The last year’s event has demonstrated that girls are just as capable like their male counterpart, and thus prejudice and discrimination in terms of girls joining STEM fields is only denying them and the world in general from benefiting from the full potential of what the Fem Bosses’ have got to offer.
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