When I was in Kenya spending time at Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, I was struck by how much the girls still struggled with math and science. Most of the girls who enter KGSA have poor skills in math and science. They didn’t receive the training they needed in primary school, and they give into the societal stigma that girls can’t do math and science. By secondary school, they are convinced they simply can’t do it and will never be able to. KGSA started a mentorship program just to address this lack of confidence. Girls from other high schools getting A’s in math, chemistry and physics, come to KGSA on the weekend to help with homework. This partnership helps KGSA students explore their own disempowerment.
As a teacher in the US, I do not see girls here struggling with the stigma about math and science in the same way girls at KGSA do. However, we still see a huge disparity when it comes to professions.
Girls in grades K-12 are excelling in math and science, but more than half say they don’t consider engineering as a profession. Dr. Misha Malyshev, Teza Technologies CEO, works with nonprofit organizations to provide opportunities for students, especially young women, to learn about engineering and STEM. February 25th is Girl Day and is a chance for girls to learn about engineering, and to celebrate the difference they can make in the world through engineering and STEM careers.
Please help me promote Girl Day with the boys and girls, men and women in your life!