The world faces a massive gender gap in science that is well documented (UNESCO UIS 2019). In Ethiopia, only ~ 13% of scientists are women, plus, girls avoid choosing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields mainly due to the lack of information and support.
SciGirls project aims to improve in the long term the gender gap in science and the current lack of girls in STEM through astronomy and its multidisciplinarity. We will organize 7 days strong capacity-building workshop to bring astronomy and STEM closer to the girls and to make them our future advocates in their schools and areas. It will be a sort of pilot project and training, that if successful, can be used as a model in the future.
We are planning to do the following:
– To select 40 secondary school girls across Ethiopia, covering all regions by using some of our previous networks to reach the girls. Girls will be selected on a volunteer basis, showing their interest to serve in the future as contact points and science/STEM advocates.
– To develop the content of the workshop for including an introduction to astronomy and its multidisciplinarity, astronomy and STEM as a tool for development, astronomical observations at Entoto Observatory, astronomy and big data, job opportunities with astronomy and STEM, and women and girls in science.
– To promote Entoto as a national facility for skills development through conducted observations.
– To discuss main challenges regarding girls in science, to develop a plan with girls on promoting their experience and STEM among their friends and colleagues, and make them active participants of the change.
– To develop a material that can be used in the future for promoting STEM among girls, women in science, job opportunities in STEM, the importance of astronomy and science for development, etc. The material will be distributed freely to different institutions and through social media and will be prepared in English, Amharic, and Afaan Oromo.
Mirjana Pović firstname.lastname@example.org