Our two days in Goa were memorable where we reached out to 405 girls from 20 schools. The girls were all excited about polymer putty, extracting the DNA and lighting up the LED.
The workshop began with Ajay Durrani enthusiastically inspiring the girls with the Covestro values of being Courageous, Curious and Colourful.
This was followed by a session by Dr. Neha Phadke, Scientist from our own country India working at Covestro Baytown as Process Development Chemist. She talked about her journey from being the daughter of a farmer to a scientist.
On day 1, Prof. Savita Kerkar, Head of Department, Biotechnology, Goa University shared her journey and asked the girls to stay connected to STEM, given that it will help in their future to make the right career choice. Having been born in Portugal to a Gandhian mother and a strict father, she talked about how morals, an urge to be curious and a sound education is the key to success and happiness.
Dr. Vrinda Borker, the Principal of Dhempe College of Arts & Science, Goa, is also a published and cited researcher and guide to Ph.D. and M.Phil students besides being a keen evangelist of every aspect in science. She talked about how challenges are opportunities in disguise, and not something to shy away from.
We were also fortunate to have Dr. Siby Kurien, Principal Scientist, CSIR - National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa on day 2 with us. Besides talking about the basics of Oceanography, she showed the students a film about the research vessel RV Sindhu Sadhana and the advanced equipment on board. Her message to the girls was to follow their passion.
KR Anupama concluded the workshop with a very heart touching speech and a few tips on how to be successful. She said that the girls need to be themselves, be assertive, listen and act on constructive criticism. As a professor in the Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, BITS Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus, she often encounters a gender skew in favour of boys in any class. Her speech was peppered with interesting anecdotes from her life and references to Hermione from Harry Potter, which struck a chord with all the students.
And with that, we bid adieu to Goa.
The schools who attended were Bal Bharti Vidya Mandir, Our Lady of the Rosary High School, The Rosary School, St. Theresa's High School, Santa Cruz High School, Mary Immaculate Girls High School,Government High School, A.J De Almeida High School, Mushtifund High School, St. Joseph Convent High School, Lourdes Convent High School, Shree Ram Vidya Mandir, G.S. Amonkar Vidya Mandir, Sacred Heart High School, Holy Cross High School, Mahila & Nutan English High School, Shree Ganesh High School, Bhatikar Model High School, Bethany Convent High School and Fatima Convent High School.