11.05.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Scientific Camp of Excellence for mentoring girls in science technology, engineering and mathematics in Kenya

Students from one of the schools discussing their STEM project proposal, UNESCO/Alice Ochanda

The 2017 STEM camp was organized from 10 to 14 April 2017 at Kaaga Girls’ High School in Meru County, Kenya. Female students from secondary schools in the North and Upper Eastern Regions of Kenya were targeted by the 2017 STEM Mentorship Camp.

The Meru STEM Camp at Kaaga Girls’ High School was the 5th since November 2014 when UNESCO initiated the STEM programme in Kenya, with an aim to unlock the potential in secondary school girls and inspire them to embrace STEM courses and careers. The 2017 camp was organized from 10 to 14 April 2017 at Kaaga Girls’ High School in Meru County and a total of 240 students and 30 accompanying teachers (mainly science teachers) from Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir and Isiolo Counties in North Eastern and Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Embu Counties in Upper Eastern regions participated in the camp.

So far, a total of 32 Counties out of the 47 have been covered by the UNESCO/Government of Kenya STEM programme with 971 secondary school girls mentored in Mathematics, Physics, Agricultural sciences, Marine and Ocean Sciences as well as in different fields of engineering - electronic and telecommunication engineering, Geospatial and Space Technology Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering etc.

During the camp, students also have the opportunity to be exposed to the available opportunities in TVET institutions, such as technology oriented and engineering courses at diploma level among others. Students were also mentored on life and survival skills for women and girls.

The Meru camp was organized in partnership with Meru University and Meru Polytechnic, that provided their institutional premises for exposure to the learning environment for the students. Exposure to the work environment was enabled by the availability of Githongo Tea Factory and the Meru multipurpose Cooperative Society to receive the students. Safaricom’s Women in Technology also joined the UNESCO STEM Camp to mentor the secondary school students on the importance of technology. The trainers took participants through a course entitled Telecoms 101, walking students through opportunities for Women in Technology at Safaricom; such opportunities include maintenance, quality analysis, monitoring, support process, planning design and implementation to power support.

The camp was officially opened by the Meru County Minister for Education, Dr. Kaberia in the presence of the County Director of Education Dr. Salome Maina. The Secretary General of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Evangeline Njoka, the representative of the Principal Secretary for University Education, Ms. K’Opiyo and Ms. Emily Maina, the representative of the Principal Secretary for TVET Education addressed the students and teachers and thanked UNESCO for initiating the STEM Programme and for taking it to the Upper Eastern region.

The Keynote addressed was delivered by Mrs. K’Opiyo on behalf of the Principal Secretary for University Education, Prof. Collette A. Suda. The Camp also benefitted from the presence of the Principal Secretary for Maritime and Shipping Affairs, Mrs. Nancy Karigithu who also presented to the students the opportunities available in Marine and Ocean Sciences.

To support the positive attitude created in students by the mentorship talks, the accompanying science teachers also had a session on gender responsive teaching of the sciences. While acknowledging the importance of the programme, the Meru County Director for Education, Dr. Maina also requested UNESCO to incorporate science teachers from her county, particularly Physics and Mathematics teachers in the programme. This was accepted and the participation of the additional teachers was supported by their sub-counties.

For additional information on what UNESCO is doing on the theme of STEM and Gender Advancement,please check the UNESCO website by clicking here


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