WiSci Girls STEAM Camp

Internationally, there is a strong gender imbalance in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The WiSci Camp aims to help bridge that gap through access to education, mentorship opportunities and leadership training.

What is WiSci STEAM Camp?

The Women in Science or WiSci Girls STEAM Camp aims to help close the gender gap through access to education, mentorship opportunities and leadership training.

What does STEAM stand for?

STEAM = Science Technology Engineering Arts & Design Mathematics.

Harriet 1Why focus on STEM education for girls?

Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging girls and women in STEM education. Unfortunately, girls and women continue to face unique and significant barriers in accessing STEM education. According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%. While women represent 40% of the global labor force, they are often paid lower salaries than men in similar jobs and are concentrated in lower skill, lower wage jobs and industries, with significant gaps in higher value added jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

The Girls WiSci camp aligns withthe United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals to achieve gender equality and empower all girls and women.

In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in STEM, and to further achieve gender equality and girls’ empowerment, there need to be greater opportunities made available to girls and an increase in investments around girls’ STEM education.

That’s where the WiSci STEAM Camp comes in.

2015 | WiSci STEAM Camp | Rwanda

In 2015, a pilot WiSci Girls STEAM Camp brought together a diverse group of 30 female U.S. high school students for an opportunity to study at the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Rwanda alongside 90 African students from 8 African countries. A dynamic group of WiSci partners, including the U.S. Department of State, AOL Charitable Foundation, Girl Up, Intel Corporation, and Microsoft co-designed the concept and over 200 hours of programming, led classroom training, offered mentorship, provided connections to inspiring mentors and supported travel and logistics for the entire camp.

2016 | WiSci STEAM Camp | Peru

A 2016 WiSci Girls STEAM camp was held for two weeks in July in Peru and brought together high school girls from Chile, Mexico, Peru and the United States. The camp offered students a new opportunity to demonstrate the real impact of STEAM education on girls. It capitalized on a related workshop for relevant APEC ministers by including a day-long session for the Ministers to interact with and mentor the girls on pursuing a STEAM based academic and career path.

The camp was a public-private partnership effort between Girl Up, the U.S. Department of State, and other partners.

 

2017 | WiSci STEAM Camp | Malawi

The 2017 WiSci Girls STEAM Camp was held for approximately two and a half weeks from July 30 – August 15, 2017 in Malawi.  The camp brought together 98 high school girls from the African continent (Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Liberia) and the United States to work together to enhance their STEAM skills, craft their leadership potential, and build camaraderie and networks that will propel them to new opportunities. Campers had the opportunity to learn how to develop mobile applications, coding skills, learn about microbiology and more.