As part of its mandate to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education among secondary school girls, the Centre for Gender Issues in Science and Technology (CEGIST) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) has commenced its proposed sensitization visit to secondary schools in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The Centre was at St. Louis Grammar School, Akure last Thursday, 9th Novembe, 2017 for a seminar. According to the Associate Director of CEGIST, Dr. (Mrs) Olufunmilayo S. Omoba who represented the Director, Professor (Mrs) Tinuola Adebolu, the seminar was designed to stimulate the interest of the girl child in STEM education, make the students to realize the great loss in not fostering career pursuit in STEM related fields, encourage the students to eliminate self-selection bias in career choices, and hence, build the students’ confidence and willingness to engage in STEM subjects.
Dr. Omoba presented- on behalf of the Director- a career talk titled, "STEM: Where are the Girls?". She enlightened the students on the importance of STEM education for girls and decried the wide gender gap in STEM related fields. She advised them to disregard the myths in the pursuit of STEM careers as that could prevent them from fulfilling their academic potentials and achieving excellence in life. The talk which lasted for about 60 minutes saw the girls burning with enthusiasm.
To further inspire the students, they were shown video clips of four Nigerian High School girls (aged 14 - 15) who invented the award-winning urine-powered electricity generator exhibited at the International Science and Engineering Fair [ISEF] at Phoenix, USA. The seminar ended with a Question-and-Answer session followed by taking of group photographs.
Speaking at the occasion, the Principal of St. Louis Grammar School, Akure, Mrs. S. O. Akintunde who was represented by the Vice-Principal, Mrs. R. Isatayo expressed profound gratitude to FUTA’s Vice-Chancellor, CEGIST’s Director as well as the resource person and her team for enlightening the students on the need for the girl child to participate in STEM. She admonished the students to keep the flag flying by relentlessly putting in their best to do the school proud.