The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP) announced today a new partnership with Girl Up, Intel, Microsoft , and the Rwandan Girls Initiative, and the support of the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI), to launch a girls STEAM camp to advance and expand STEM opportunities to young African girls. The “Women in Science and Innovation” or “WiSci” camp is set to take place in summer 2015 in Rwanda and will promote the advancement of women and girls in STEM education and STEM careers.
The STEAM acronym is derived from the traditional STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while additionally incorporating the fields of Art and Design for creative and innovative engagement. The goal of this new partnership is to empower young women with the knowledge and skillset to be competitive during a time of rapid technological development, by providing them with access to high-tech resources, like-minded peers, business connections, and inspiring mentors.
The 2015 pilot WiSci camp will bring together over 100 African and U.S. girls for a three-week session on computer science, robotics, entrepreneurship, and design, taught in highly personalized small classes. The participants will partake in cultural exchanges, receive specialized training in STEM fields, and build leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The camp will also have a mentorship component to assist participants in obtaining internships and securing scholarships for college.
The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships hopes to foster greater participation of women and girls in STEM-related fields through this new camp, launched in coordination with the office’s existing LIONS@FRICA partnership. The initiative responds to Department-wide priorities articulated at the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leader Summit, under the theme of “Investing in the Next Generation.” These commitments recognize that it is essential to engage and mentor young leaders and invest in the human capital of future generations.
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