Girls In Engineering, Mathematics And Sciences Competition, Bayelsa State

Girls In Engineering, Mathematics And Sciences Competition, Bayelsa State

Girls In Engineering, Mathematics And Sciences Competition, Bayelsa State

By / Gender Base Violence / Saturday, 25 April 2020 16:01
  • Introduction and Background

The United Nations (UN) recognizes that the full participation of women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is integral to achieving gender equality. According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), globally, women are underrepresented in the field of research and experimental development, which includes STEM fields. Women represent, on average, 29% of the world’s researchers and 35% of global higher education enrollment in STEM fields.

UNESCO suggest that women’s participation in STEM is crucial to achieving not only gender equality, but also “should be considered as crucial means to promote scientific and technological excellence.” The Girls in Engineering, Mathematics and Science (GEMS) Competition is focused on solving problems using scientific principles and theories. All activities are hands-on and incorporate teamwork, innovation and problem solving. The one-day event provided an opportunity for female science students to showcase their understanding of science and mathematics by using it to solve real life problems.

There is a recognized shortage of scientific and technical female experts in Nigeria most especially from the Niger Delta. This shortage has affected our ability to come up with scientific and technical breakthroughs in industry. To increase the number of females entering into the science and technical fields, GEMS was created. 

With more women from the Niger Delta engaged in engineering, mathematics and science, the Niger Delta will have already workforce for the oil and related companies. Empowering young girls and encouraging them to take up careers in engineering, mathematics, and science will enable them to be active participants in the development of the Nigeria Delta. It is believed that increased scientific familiarity may encourage girls to consider careers in science, engineering and mathematics and will also help develop better informed scientific citizens. When girls/women get encouraged and empowered, the whole society benefits. We believe that the more girls take up careers in engineering, mathematics and science and use the principles to solve problems, the more they will impact the Niger Delta and make it better. The economy of the region will not remain the same as those girls/women will certainly take up problems of the region, solve it and build a business around it.

Against this backdrop, Better Life for Rural People, a nongovernmental organization in the bid to bridging the gap mentioned earlier organized a science competition for girls in secondary school in the three Senatorial Districts of Bayelsa State with support from Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The event was held at Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, Yenagoa

  • Objective of the competition
  • Main objective
  • Promote women participation in science

 

  • Specific objective
  • Create a platform for girls in secondary schools to show case technological innovations.
  • To create a Platform for Female Science Students to apply science principles and Theories to solve problems;
  • To facilitate learning and excitement about science and mathematics;
  • To inspire female science students to continue to use science principles to solve everyday problems; and
  • To encourage secondary school management teams to take science, technology, engineering and mathematics serious especially in girls’ only institutions in Bayelsa State.
  • Mobilization and engagement of schools to participate

A huge mobilization and engagement strategy was carried out to all the identified schools in all the eight local government areas in the three senatorial districts of Bayelsa State. The processes are discussed in details below;

  1. There was initial visits to twelve schools to discuss the details of the program and secure their participation in the competition. A date was fixed and organized for mini competition in addition to the visit to the various schools laboratories (as shown in the pictures below).  The following were the highlights of the mobilization and engagement process;
  • Introduced the NDDC’s program to encourage girls in technology by organizing a competition for girls in secondary schools
  • Inquired of the existences of Girls in Engineering, Mathematics & Sciences, GEMS clubs in Bayelsa State.
  • Seek for approval/permission of Ministry of education to visit secondary schools in Bayelsa State to invite them to participate in the GEMS competition.
  • Seek for their support and partnership on the program
  • Obtained the list secondary schools in Bayelsa State from the Ministry of Education (Bayelsa has 380 secondary schools) in Bayelsa State
  • Carefully analysed the list and select schools taking into consideration Geographical spread (3 Senatorial Districts) Bayelsa West, Bayelsa Central and Bayelsa East). Preference was given to girls’ secondary schools.
  • Selected 12 schools from the 3 senatorial Districts for mobilization (6 from each Senatorial Districts)
  • Wrote letters to schools to introduce the program and invite them to participate in the competition
  1. A mini competition was organized between schools in the senatorial district. However, inter senatorial district competitions could not hold properly because most of the schools visited declined to participate. Secondary Schools in Bayelsa State had not been involved in science exhibitions competitions before. Schools were hesitant to participate.
  2. Six (6) schools eventually emerged from the three (3) senatorial districts. The six schools represented 5 LGAs and the 3 Senatorial Districts. They include;
  • Model Secondary School, Sagbama, (Sagbama LGA- Bayelsa West Senatorial District)
  • Government Girls Secondary School, Kaiama- (Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA-Bayelsa Central Senatorial District)
  • Government Secondary School, Amasoma (Southern Ijaw LGA- Bayelsa Central Senatorial District)
  • Jude’s Model Girls Secondary School, Onopa, Yenagoa (Yenagoa LGA-Bayelsa Central Senatorial District
  • Community Secondary School, Otuokpoti- (Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa East Senatorial District)
  • Community Girls Secondary School Emeyal 2- (Ogbia LGA, Bayelsa East Senatorial District)

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