Etisalat has sponsored this year’s Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation science camp for girls, in further demonstration of its commitment to empower young people through quality education.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Camp, whose 2013 theme was ‘Robotics and Renewable Energy for Africa’, took place at the Laureate College Mafoluku, for girls between the ages of 13 and 17. The week long training ended with a colourful Award ceremony last weekend.
The Robotics STEM camp, witnessed hands-on activities, lectures, tutorials and experiments, all led and presented by female facilitators from Nigeria and the United States.
Among them included a special education teacher from Ebele Agu,Honors Academy School in Texas; Dr. Kaye Smith, associate professor of Physics and STEM Education at St. Catherine University in Minnesota; and Frances Van Sloun, mechanical engineer from St. Thomas University in Minnesota.
Over 30 girls attended the camp and were educated on how robotics, computer science and programming could be used to solve significant problems in Africa, focusing on electricity generation and water purification, amongst others.
The participants were mostly drawn from government public schools across Lagos such as Airforce Secondary School, Gbaja Girls’ High School, Clegg Girls’ High School, Top Grade Secondary School, Bolade Senior Grammar School, Laureates College and Bosgram College.
Projects developed and presented by the girls included light-sensor robots to solve green energy challenges such as trash sorting, water purification systems, and renewable energy systems including solar cars and Windmill systems.
Leading teams received trophies while every team member was presented with a STEM certificate.
Okung Ebiefie, head, Data& Mobile Internet at Etisalat Nigeria, said: “our focus is to encourage young people to believe that they can do great things and be innovative solution providers. Etisalat believes that confidence and tangible skills can make them more impactful and viable. We are committed to giving them that gentle push needed to help them apply their energy into thinking up new ways to improve societies they live in. These girls have had valuable experiences that we hope will be sustainable and impactful”.
Etisalat is focusing on the next generation of young people who are the source of fresh ideas and tomorrow’s leaders, by equipping them with capacity to innovate, and develop their ideas into sustainable solutions.
Dr. Unoma Okorafor, Founder of the WAAW Foundation, who recently received the 2013 Anita Borg Change Agent Award, said the objective of the STEM camp was to ensure that girls think of science and technology as tools that can help them solve real problems in their communities.
“The focus is to encourage our girls to look around and use locally available materials for innovation. These are our future leaders. We need them to understand that there are no limits. The objective also is to influence them by giving them intense hands-on experiences during the Camp. We open up their minds to think of the problems in Africa and empower them to solve these problems through technology. We need to increase the number of girls that are engaged in innovation through science and technology,’ she said.
Etisalat presented Easyblaze modems to winners at the Awards Ceremony.