The 2022 Stanbic-KNUST WiSTEM Camp for Girls which commenced on Monday September 26, at the College of Science, KNUST has ended.
About 250 girls selected from 23 Senior High Schools in the Ashanti Region benefited from opportunities to learn about practical application of STEM that will contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals, at the bootcamp in Kumasi.
Learning activities at the 5-day camp included career development and growth, critical thinking in design management, effective communication and pitching, introduction to scientific literature review, artificial intelligence, as well as mentorship. These together with the various practical STEM competitions, provided hands on experience to students as well as a comprehensive developmental program to prepare the girls for a competitive labor market in the STEM fields.
Speaking on why Stanbic is keen on inculcating the love of STEM into young girls and women, Head Brand and Marketing at Stanbic Bank, Mawuko Afadzinu said:
“One of the things we’re passionate about as a bank is to trigger students’ participation in the STEM fields, especially girls, by giving them an opportunity to learn about various career paths and develop interest in the field, sparking their creativity and research skills thus leading to job creation and poverty alleviation in Ghana. The innovations by these students can go a long way in making our planet sustainable and the social space thriving. This is one of the partnerships that give us the opportunity to support the dreams of our younger ones and give back to the community”.
The girls were divided into teams and tasked to come up with exciting ways to use knowledge in STEM to solve everyday challenges. At the end of the programme, Group 4, who produced Silica Gel from palm kennel ash, was judged the winners of the Challenge. The other finalists created an intruder detecting device, meat processing technology, Bank chatbot using dialogflow, and a microbial fuel cell source to prevent environmental pollution.
Leader of group 4 Ms Anita Yaa Boatemaa, shared her excitement at their victory and thanked Stanbic Bank for the opportunity. She said, “As scientists it is important for us to find efficient ways to utilize our scarce resources. That is what informed our silica gel project. When people use palm kennels, they discard the shells in its ash form, but we can actually extract silica gel from it, which can be used for so many purposes. I am really grateful to Stanbic for making this event possible, it has given us knowledge and the confidence we need to make it in any STEM field we choose”, she said.
President, KNUST WiSTEM, Prof Mbok Oduro urged parents to give their daughters same support they give the boy child when it comes to choosing STEM courses or careers. She also thanked the team from Stanbic for making it possible for girls from C schools to interact and learn with girls from A and B schools.
“We want to say a big thank you to Stanbic Bank for partnering this initiative. Logistics needed to host over 200 girls for 5 days is no joke; Stanbic came on board to make sure the camp was not only successful but fun and very engaging. We are grateful for the cash, branded souvenirs and their active participation throughout the period”.
Stanbic Bank Ghana has partnered many academic institutions and FinTechs to deliver a number of STEM related projects which have so far given beneficiaries access to about 300 mentors and advisors across 48 disciplines and technical areas, access to structured training programs and curriculum, internship opportunities with Stanbic Bank, and other partners, and due diligence simulations for student entrepreneurs, most of which are women.
Prof Mbok Oduro presenting prizes to the winners