For the past few years I have been working with Girls in Tech in Cameroon, supporting their STEM clubs: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics clubs for girls. The clubs are run by teachers at participating schools who are trained during the summer to help girls learn hands on practical skills. The girls meet after school every week to create new projects, compete in regional competitions, and even have shown up on national TV. The work the girls have done is quite impressive, here is what they have to say.
The STEM Club Girls
We interviewed three girls who have participated in Girls in Tech for over a year. This is what they had to say about the program.
Students from Tassah Academy’s Girls in Tech STEM Club, Yaoundé, Cameroon
- What is your favorite part of the program?
Esthella: Girls in Tech is a very good program because we learn to have a big imagination about everything we create. The program is very good for girls, because it helps them get into science, and makes them realize that science is not just for boys, but for girls too. I enjoy programming because it is so easy and fun.
Honorine: I love Scratch (a coding software game) because it enables us to create games and other things. I created a game “Twilight” where the game asks the players questions about nature: what is nature, what do you like about nature, what are insects, how people destroy nature, etc. The idea came from when I stood outside and saw how beautiful nature looks. However when you walk around you can see paper, and trash everywhere, and it’s not good.
Dolly: Solar energy and Scratch because I like anything that involves physics, and I like working on the computer.
- What has been the most significant change for you since you started the program?
Estella: My marks in mathematics, and physics have improved. When I’m creating games, such as the math game I created, it reinforces my knowledge. Girls in Tech also helps me to know other people in technology.
Honorine: Girls in Tech has enabled me to meet other people that I wouldn’t have met before. It has enforced my capacity in the sciences, and has helped me make new friends.
Dolly: Before I was in Girls in Tech, people told me I couldn’t do this or that, but since I have joined I have more confidence. I have met so many new people, new teachers, and new friends. Since I’ve joined Girls in Tech, I’m always out on excursions representing the program to talk about STEM and have reinforced my knowledge in all STEM subjects.
- What is your advice for other girls?
Estella: My advice to other girls is to do better in science, to be able to do what we are doing now.
Honorine: I can advise other girls to work hard in science. Even if you are not strong in science, you can try to pass in that subject, even if you don’t want to make a career out of it. Girls in Tech is a good program for girls in general; because boys are more involved in technology than girls, it is an opportunity for us girls to get into tech.
Dolly: If they have the opportunity, they should join. If they have a club at their school, they should seize the opportunity, and join. Girls should not think that boys are more advanced in technology. Girls should know that if they have the courage, they can do it, if they really really want it.