My visit to the African Science Academy for girls
During my mentorship session at the African Science Academy (ASA) based in Ghana, I spoke about my passion-project, Levers in Heels, and my mission to give a voice to rising African women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields; a platform where these women can directly or indirectly serve as role models to young girls interested in pursuing STEM careers.
Interestingly, these women and their stories are inspiring and educating, not just girls, but the rest of the world on how challenging, yet fulfilling being an African women in STEM can be.
Women have made many strides in STEM fields, but their achievements go disregarded especially in Africa. These women are needed today more than ever to share their contributions and struggles. Their stories are key to educate nations, leaders, parents and guardians on the importance of encouraging girls interested in STEM, to become the next generation of STEM leaders.
While role models are significant to the success of young individuals, they play a largely pivotal role in encouraging girls and women in STEM.
Having very few African women in STEM fields is not due to lack of talent or ability. It is simply caused by the unfair prejudice against our girls and women, something our female role models can help curb.
According to Thomas Ilube, Founder and Chairman of the African Gifted Foundation — the charity which opened the African Science Academy in August 2016 to 24 students, ASA was inspired by his desire to find and nurture a generation of young African women with a passion and aptitude for science and mathematics.
“I studied applied physics at the university and went on to have a wonderful and rewarding career in the technology world. I can see the impact that science and technology can have and so I was inspired to explore how I could help drive Africa’s development by inspiring and unleashing the next generation of scientists and engineers. My mother was a teacher, in Nigeria, Uganda and the UK for many years, so I was draw to education as the route to realizing my ambitions.”
The academy seeks to identify and bring young women from all across the African continent who love science, technology, engineering and maths, into a dedicated environment where they can immerse themselves in the STEM world.
My experience at the academy was definitely worth it, and I hope to do this again. The girls also got to learn about STEM careers they didn’t even know existed — like being an Amphibian Biologist. :)
More on Levers in Heels here.