Five Girls in STEM creating opportunities for women in ICT

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April 26, 2018 marks International Girls in ICT Day—a day dedicated to empowering girls and young women around the world to explore careers in the growing field of ICT (Information and communication technology).

Reaching over 300,000 girls in 160+ countries so far, International Girls in ICT Day encourages technology companies to realize the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector and YOUth can join the global effort! See how these five young ChangeLeaders® are creating learning opportunities in STEM and ICT for their peers in Canada, Jordan, Zambia and Tanzania.

Jasveen Brar

Science fair programming in Canada
In highschool, Jasveen conducted a science fair project looking at the levels of parasites in her local community, how effectively the wastewater treatment plant removed them and where they ended up afterwards. This research led her to participate at the Canada Wide Science Fair where she received a gold medal for her work During this experience, Jasveen noticed that enrolment was dropping at the regional science fair, particularly for young women, which really troubled her because she knows that there are so many opportunities for youth in this field.

Wanting to show youth that a science fair project goes beyond a basic baking soda and vinegar volcano, Jasveen Brar founded Operation Lab Coats and Beakers, a program designed to assist youth through each step of the science fair…

The following year, participation at the regional fair was at its all-time high.

While she studies at university, Jasveen continues to volunteer her time towards science fair efforts and has hosted a webinar series with Youth Science Canada to connect youth with STEM and encourage them to follow their dreams regardless of their age. She has also participated in two Students On Ice expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic studying the impacts of climate change with scientists and polar experts, with the research being presented at the international SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) summit, Merit360, and UN headquarters.

Did you know that only 26% of workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (#STEM) are female? #ChangeGen

Rasha Al-Khateen and Maram Hussein

Tech development hackathon in Jordan
While participating in the TechGirls US program, Rasha and Maram heard about the NASA Space Apps Challenge—a technology development hackathon that focuses on finding real solutions to earth and space challenges, intensively prototyping over the course of three days and implementing the most promising prototypes—and were keen to bring this event to Jordan.

Rasha and Maram applied to be local leads and successfully applied for a small grants program. They both agree that while organizing an event like this one took a lot of time and energy, it was a real an honour and was worth the effort: Rasha and Maram have met many entrepreneurs and built lasting relationships. The girls also got to help their community showcase its amazing talent and the participants are on track to turning their idea into a reality.

Regina Mtonga-Mantina

ICT community network in Zambia
From a young age when she used her birthday money to plant a tree, Kehkashan passion for the environment has led her to speak at over 45 international and United Nations summits, and serve on various UN councils and committees. She also has founded Green Hope, which seeks to provide a networking platform for youth to engage in sustainable development. By organizing environmental workshops and ground-level projects on mitigating climate change, stopping land degradation, biodiversity conservation and waste reduction, Green Hope has engaged over 1,000 youth members around the world.

The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that you only fail at something if you don't attempt it. #ChangeLeader Regina Mtonga-Mantina #ChangeGen

Vick John Vigero

ICT training in Tanzania
As a teenager, Vick felt lost and confused, looking for the right path: She never finished her secondary school education and felt like she would never find success. Vick began volunteering as a trainer with Restless Development and their International Citizen Service program, an employment and livelihood project that changed her whole life. As time went by, Vick developed a passion for creating positive change in her community. She also joined Mbeya Living Lab, a local initiative that delivers ICT training to youth. As a girl, she always felt others judged her choice to volunteer, but she knew she was doing the right thing. Vick attended a variety of seminars and workshops to broaden her knowledge and acquire more skills. Working on a ICT project with secondary school students, Vick has helped them use wide range of technologies and learn more about social media to improve and increase their skills.

About the Author

Kelly Lovell is the founder and CEO of ChangeGen. She is globally recognized for her expertise, particularly on engaging Millennials and Generation Z More