We, at Covestro, believe in equal opportunity for everyone, especially in the world of science, and hence it became an inspiration for us to start #STEM4Girls project, with the objective of promoting STEM among girls.
This project involves daylong workshops wherein the girls explore STEM-related experiments and also hear inspiring stories from women who have pursued a career in STEM.
The first half of the workshop involves an accomplished woman scientist addressing the girls about her area of work, the opportunities in her field within STEM and her own life journey. The students learn about a world of opportunity through these talks and more importantly, receive a message that it is possible to build a STEM career, irrespective of hurdles. The second half is aimed at instilling confidence and alleviating the fear of STEM among girl students. Each student gets to do experiments hands-on and gain practical knowledge, under the guidance of volunteers.
Doing these experiments on their own (in most cases, a first in life) boosts their self-esteem and a sense of “I can do it too” develops. In 2018, for example, the girls toyed with making a simple circuit, creating a polymer putty and extracting human DNA. Through these experiments, they also assimilate their textbook knowledge much better and feel more confident about science-related subjects.
Started as a pilot in 2016 in Delhi addressing around 100 girls, #STEM4Girls has inspired over 4500 girls by the end of 2018 across India. The response was rather encouraging and kept us going to reach a higher number of girls with every passing year! In 2018, it was held in collaboration with greenlight for girls, Nehru Science Centre and ChandraMohan Foundation.
In 2019, we hope to ignite the minds of around 4000 girl students in the field of STEM, covering schools in various cities in India. With STEM in their hands, these little girls could contribute to making the world a brighter place too!