Fashioned in much the similar manner as the #BlackGirlMagic, the ‘I Am Science’ initiative by Goethe-Institut wants to bring more women and girls into the career path of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
This initiative is primarily focusing on enrolling young girls in high schools from disadvantaged urban areas. It seeks to spark interest in STEM in these young girls using science-related activities disseminated through digital learning and video.
Worldwide, women researchers account for just about 30% of science researchers. Focus your lens more sharply, and you will see the number of black women is much (much) lower. It is not that the capability of venturing in the STEM career lacks in women, the problem is the opportunity to pursue them are not equally distributed.
Thanks to unequal access to education and the long-standing stereotypes against women work to discourage young girls from pursuing STEM education and careers. Indeed, many girls in South Africa (SA) seems to have given up on pursuing their interest in this field, as the society seems to be shepherding them towards, more ‘feminine careers.’
Goethe’s I Am Science has rolled out a two-week program across various schools geared towards sparking an interest in STEM and encourage young girls to pursue those fields of career. They intend to urge the girls to be curious about the wonders of the world, what makes it tick, and by doing so, they will be naturally drawn into sciences.
I Am Science creates entertaining science contents including videos presented by girls. The content is geared towards changing perceptions girls might have about science towards a more encouraging outlook of a field that has been wrongfully depicted as hard or unbecoming for a lady.
In the last two months, I Am Science programs have reached three Gauteng schools, showing short video of girls from Alex, Tembisa, and Soweto doing amazing scientific things. The videos were also uploaded to YouTube to increase the number of role model women in STEM for other underrepresented groups of girls, who can then see that STEM is not just white and male.
I Am Science also comes with science quizzed published through the Levelup app; which the teen girls use to submit correct answers and earn themselves tokens for every right answer. The tokens earned can be redeemed in the form of mobile phone calling minutes or data.
For more details on I Am Science, head on to this link.