Covestro (India) started with a STEM journey in India as a small initiative to reach out to young girls and generate their interest in STEM fields so that they can pursue STEM education; thereby, choose a profession in STEM. 2 years ago, we reached out to 100 girls from Delhi. In 2017, we were astonished by the great participation response of 1327 girls. And, hence, now with the onset of our Indian festive season, we wish to celebrate this noble initiative of STEM as a festival; so in 2018, we will be celebrating #STEM4GirlsFestival2018 with an aim to educate and encourage more than 3000 girls across 6 different cities of India.
Our first stop was in Mumbai on 8th October, which will be followed by Calicut, Dharampur & Greater Noida in November, and Panjim and Nagpur in December.
Instead of textbook knowledge, STEM focuses more on practical learning and experiments. The girls start their day with a motivational session from popular women scientists who share their experiences of being in this field and make the girls realise the vast opportunities in the field of STEM. This is followed by hands- on fun experiments with 30 girls in one workshop and 3 workshops throughout the day.
The experiments are about making a simple circuit, creating a polymer putty and extracting Human DNA. In the MakeItGlow workshop, students are taught to make a simple circuit in less than 30 minutes using just a copper tape, lithium battery and, of course, an LED. The Polymer Putty workshop involves mixing two compounds or polymers that react with each other to form a completely new polymer. In the Human DNA workshop, the students study the structure and composition of the human DNA and get an opportunity to extract their own DNA.
This celebration is a great attempt to bridge the gender gap since the homely responsibilities of a woman are perceived as an obstacle in pursuing STEM education. So, let’s have a look at how we celebrated our festival.