WEP Campus Chapter at Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) collaborated with Ilm-o-Neroon to conduct STEM Outreach sessions in Hyderabad city and adjacent areas. Ilm-o-Neroon "seeks to start informed conversation on educational issues of Hyderabad and Sindh". This outreach session is part of a collaboration between both the organizations to target 10 girls higher secondary government schools for active STEM outreach.
The first session conducted in this series was at the Government Girls High School in Railway Colony, Hyderabad. WEP Campus Ambassador Quratulain Narejo and team started the conversation with high school girls by explaining the many branches of STEM education. The next section asked the question, "Baray ho k kia bango?" (what do you want to become when you grow up?). Not only did this section serve as an ice-breaker, it also presented the many career paths that can be derived from STEM degrees and higher education. WEP team then presented a lot of Pakistani female role models, emphasizing on their identity as Pakistani, making it more convenient for the younger girls to directly relate to these established, accomplished women. Some examples of the presented role models include tech giant Jehan Ara, the all-girls team from NUST that won at Formula Car racing student competition, and motivational wiz Shireen Naqvi. Founder Ilm-o-Neroon, Rohaina Malik shed some light upon the the best ways to choose a career of one's liking and interest. A STEM-based quiz was conducted to create more motivation, but also to gauge some direct conclusions: whether or not the young girls had been paying attention. Results: They Listened Every Word!
One issue with the session observed by the WEP team was the lack of interest from the school's administration. None of the teachers stayed back for finding out what the STEM Outreach session was about, and did not check in throughout the event. This was disheartening, but with much positivity derived from the students' response, WEP hopes that government schools in Pakistan would actively participate in STEM education for girls in the coming future.
The session ended with students filling in WEP's counselling form, with a new motivation to step into higher education and especially STEM education.