Covestro (India) started with the 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. Hence, in 2018, we continued our journey of #STEM4GirlsFestival2018 with an aim to educate and encourage more than 3000 girls across 6 different cities of India. It was held in collaboration with greenlight for girls, Nehru Science Centre and Chandramohan Foundation.
Our first stop was in Mumbai on 8th October, which was 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 started their day with a motivational session from popular women scientists who shared their experiences of being in this field and made the girls realise the vast opportunities in the field of STEM. This was followed by hands-on fun experiments with 30 girls in one workshop and 3 workshops throughout the day.
The experiments were about making a simple circuit, creating a polymer putty and extracting Human DNA. In the MakeItGlow workshop, students were 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 involved mixing two compounds or polymers that react with each other to form a completely new polymer. In the Human DNA workshop, the students studied the structure and composition of the human DNA and got an opportunity to extract their own DNA.
This celebration was a great attempt to bridge the gender gap since the homely responsibilities of a woman are still perceived as an obstacle in pursuing STEM education. So, let’s have a look at how we celebrated our festival.