To celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, Cape Town Science Centre partnered with Google to train South African girls aged 10 to 13 in AI and Robotics.
Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM
The primary goal of this initiative is to bridge the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. By offering a supportive and inspiring environment, this program aims to cultivate the girls’ interest in potential STEM careers, particularly in AI and robotics, while demonstrating the real-world applications of these technologies. Practical, interactive workshops are a key component, allowing participants to delve into the fascinating world of AI and robotics.
Theresa Ely-Felino, Coding, and Robotics Manager at the Cape Town Science Centre, emphasizes the importance of fostering interest in STEM among South African girls and highlights the promising partnership with Google.
From AI Fundamentals to Coding Basics
The training covered diverse topics, from AI fundamentals to coding basics and the construction and programming of simple robots. Participants were also exposed to STEM projects created by other girls, providing inspiration, and received guidance on STEM career paths.
This STEM training program aims to achieve several outcomes, including increased awareness and interest in AI and robotics among girls, enhanced confidence and motivation to pursue STEM-related education and careers, the establishment of a supportive community of girls interested in STEM, and the promotion of hands-on learning and creative problem-solving.
Need to Address Gender Disparity
Despite girls’ higher secondary enrollment in Southern Africa, many drop out before completing their education. Additionally, those who do graduate often lack the necessary skills to pursue STEM-related programs at the tertiary level. UNICEF reports a significant gender gap in South African tertiary institutions, with only 28.5% of young women graduating in STEM-related careers, highlighting the need to address this gender disparity.
Siya Madikane, Communications and Public Affairs Manager at Google South Africa, underscores Google’s commitment to promoting inclusion in technology.
Google and Cape Town Science Center collaborate for long-term tech inclusivity, fostering gender parity in South Africa’s digital economy.