Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage

…Presented prizes to students

According to UNESCO, Poor access to improved water and sanitation in Nigeria remains a major contributing factor to high morbidity and mortality rates among children under five. The use of contaminated drinking water and poor sanitary conditions result in increased vulnerability to water-borne diseases, including diarrhea which leads to deaths of more than 70,000 children under five annually.

The Association of professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, the umbrella body of Nigerian women Engineers has been playing active roles over the years towards achieving the SDGs. It is a part of these efforts that led  the Association to expand its drive to increase Women in engineering to focus on catching them young. One of such programmes is Mayen Adeitiba Technical Bootcamp for Girls.

Initiated in 2018 with target to provide strategic mentoring and supports to Young Girls interested STEM career, Mayen Adetiba Technical Bootcamp for Girls has come a long way. The 2021 edition is devoted  to creating awareness on Water challenges  and prepare young girls in STEM to become potential solution providers.

 

Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage

The event began on Tuesday 17, August 2021 with safety brief  presented by Ms. Chika Nwoko from Baker Hughes.  she spoke on the cleanliness of the hands and gave tips on hand washing techniques.

Engr ‘Laolu Aisheda, the Organising Committee Chairman, advised teachers on the need to guide young girls to show interest STEM career. “Today they see us as role models; they should see you as role models too. It will be a sad world if 30 years from now, young girls don’t have role models to look up to.” She said.

The president APWEN, Engr Funmilola Ojelade, in her welcome address, gave a brief background of the Bootcamp. She added that COVID-19 disrupted the 2020 edition. She said the Bootcamp aims to inspire young girls by showing them the benefits of taking up science careers.

“There is nothing more inspiring than the girls seeing and interacting with their role models.” Engr Funmilola said while explaining that there are many opportunities in store for female engineers, and that there are organizations that are forward-looking and offer gender neutral environment to encourage gender diversity.

Engr Imhade P. Okokpujie, APWEN Otta chairman,  Engr. Idiat Amusu, former APWEN President, took turn to address the students. Amusu, who is also the first female graduate of Agricultural Engineering in Nigeria, mentioned the importance of communication, presentation, networking and attention to details as an engineer. Engr Titilola Bright Oridami delivered delivered the keynote presentation.

Engr Mayen Adetiba, the Super Mentor,  reminded everyone to be mindful of COVID-19. She explained that this year attendance is limited due to the pandemic and the need to observe COVID-19 protocol.. She encouraged the students to take the Bootcamp seriously as there are prizes to be won at the conclusion of the event.

Special adviser to the commissioner for education, Lagos state counselled the students: “The teachers are here to make sure you change the world, and fortunately, there are lots of scholarships for female students in STEM. Lagos state understands what the students are going through and in 2 months there will be a drone program for students and teachers in Agege, Alimosho and Ifako Ijaiye.” She enjoined them to become problem solvers.

…Train the trainers workshop target Science teachers

Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage

The event also included Train the Trainer workshops coordinated by the special adviser, commissioner for education. She spoke about her experience as a teacher, how she started, the challenges she faced and the rewards. She encouraged the teachers to be innovating in their teaching style as students tend to learn better this way.

The Workshop for the STEM teachers who are drawn from selected secondary schools was a result of the discovery that many Students found the STEM subjects difficult because of the delivery. The workshop was an interactive session that enable both the practicing engineers, educators, policy makers and the teacher learn across various divides while also sharing their respective perspectives. The train-the-trainers session exposed teachers to how to help their students fall in love with STEM subjects.

Though the event, which lasted three days, the girls were taken through series of activities where learning  were conducted under fun filled, conducive environment with support of Professionals in attendance. The students were taught basic Lab knowledge on how water is purified by filtration and given the opportunity to perform experiments, both individually and in groups.

To familiarize them with the real time water processing, they were taken on an industrial tour at an urban water purification plant – the water treatment plant of the Lagos State water corporation located at Iju. The students were able to see how engineers bring solutions to everyday life in most critical areas like water.

… Prizes and commendations to winning teams…

Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage

During The closing ceremony prizes were given to outstanding schools and individuals that stood out during the Bootcamp activities. In her closing address, the APWEN president Engr Funmilola Ojelade said: “Our intention is to take steps toward fulfilment of our number 1 mission as an Association which is to increase the number of women that are practicing engineering. So, we want inspire in these children the desire to study engineering and at the same time, show the teachers how to help us in making this happen.”

She said that the entire programme was packaged to “to ensure that they (students) pay attention and internalize the engineering concepts that we’re trying to teach them. It is also to help them discover the engineer in them with the hope that they will choose to study engineering. ”

“At the last event, a school won the trophy. They’ve brought back the trophy today. Let’s see if they will win it again and return it to their school. If they can win it 3 consecutive times, their school gets to keep it for life! I’m excited about this and looking forward to this awards session.” she said.

At the end of the event, Three Schools emerged overall standout performers They are:

  1. District 6
  2. district 5
  3. district 2

There was also individual awards given to standout students. Four Students emerged in overall.

  1. Archibong Rejoice
  2. Ademisoye A. Dorcas
  3. Asuelimhen O. Esther
  4. Kadiri Khaira

APWEN President Engr Funmilola Ojelade, The super role model for the event Engr (Mrs.) Mayen Modupeola Adetiba, The GM, Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Authority, Town planner Daisi Osho, Engr Idiat Amusu, Mrs Ibiwunmi Adejobi, Engr Laolu Adedapo-Aisida, Engr Imhade Okpokpujie, Engr Nimot Muili, Engr Margaret Oguntala, Engr Titilola Oridami, Engr Monsurah Alagbe, Senior Sales Manager Baker Hughes.;Chika Nwaukwa, Engr. Fumilayo Kadiri, Engr. Bukola Salami, Coco Sulan Jiang, Emmanuel Akinyemi, Chiamaka Edeudo, Engr Olufunmilade Akingbagbohun, students and teachers from district one to 6 were all in attendance.

Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage Catching them Young: APWEN introduce girls to Science as Water Challenge takes center Stage

 

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