The second session of a series of ten collaborative STEM Outreach events was conducted at the GGHS Latifabad by WEP representatives from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), and Ilm-o-Neroon. WEP Campus Ambassador Quratulain Narejo and team were able to grasp the student's attention by presenting examples of Pakistani women who were able to make a name for themselves despite all odds, especially those in STEM fields. More than 80 female high school students attended this outreach session.
Latifabad is within the southern outskirts of Hyderabad city, and government schools here are struggling to keep pace with the demands of modern world education. These collaborative STEM Outreach events conducted by Women Engineers Pakistan and Ilm-o-Neroon help motivate young girls to pursue further education, and not to succumb under pressure and drop out. These events highlight resources available for young girls, such as scholarships, internships etc. In addition, these sessions really ignite a spark not just for STEM education but for STEM excellence within these young high school girls by linking their own personal strengths to those required in the post-4th Industrial revolution world. The skills emphasized in these sessions include collaboration, presentation, math, coding, and management.
Few observations made by the team for this session included the fact that none of the young girls had much awareness regarding what engineers do, and when asked "Baray ho k kia banogi?" (what do you want to become when you grow up?), none of the young girls mentioned becoming an engineer as an aspiration. Also, while the school had a massive premises (compared to schools previously visited by WEP), the administration could not arrange for separate sessions and students from three different grade levels were merged into one sitting. However, once the STEM Outreach session started, things fell into place. The students actively participated, and the team left with high hopes.
Of course, Pakistan has no shortage of talent. All these young girls are looking for is awareness and direction. WEP's is therefore steadily on its mission to pave pathways where more and more women and girls from Pakistan can achieve heights within STEM fields. More power to Team LUMHS!
Editor's note: This article previously mentioned the administration not participating actively. This was an incorrect statement, as even in the photos teachers can be seen to participate. WEP acknowledges and corrects our mistake.