Five hundred girls from 70 schools within 11 circuits in the Ahanta West Municipality of the Western Region have benefitted from the maiden edition of Yinson Production Ghana’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Clinic.
The STEM Clinic is to bridge the gender gap in STEM, increase girls’ interest in science, offer hands-on practical experiments, among others.
It is an initiative from Yinson Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Youth Bridge Foundation – an independent non-profit organisation responsible for youth development. They engaged the students in Physics Education Technology (PhET), scientific simulation demonstrations, laboratory experiments, and mentoring sessions on STEM-related subjects.
Edward Mensah, Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator of Yinson Ghana, explained that “the STEM Clinic will be run annually to encourage more female students to develop interest and enhance their technical know-how in science-related subjects”.
“According to the United Nations (UN), women are underrepresented in the STEM field. Based on estimates, only 12 percent of members of national science academies are women; and in emerging technical fields, such as artificial intelligence, only 22 percent are female.
“This significant gender gap has persisted throughout all levels of STEM discipline all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress of increasing their participation in higher education, they are still underrepresented in some fields. Gender equality and female empowerment will be crucial not only to economic development of the world, but to progress across all goals and targets of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development as well,” he pointed out.
Mr. Mensah said the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality, is one of the several goals adopted by Yinson. “We like to empower women to take up challenges that face them, gain confidence, develop better problems-solving skills, and have a better career option.”
He believed the maiden STEM Clinic will boost the interest of girls in climbing higher in the academic fields.
George Effah, Ahanta West Municipal Director of Education, commended Yinson for its commitment in bridging the gap in STEM.
“We recognise the immense talent and capacity that reside within every girl. Our aim is to provide them with a nurturing environment rich in opportunities, where one can explore, experiment and excel in the domain that have the power to change the world,” he said.
Madam Dorothy Abokuma Mensah, Western Regional Manager of Youth Bridge Foundation, explained that under the implementation strategy of the STEM Clinic, experiment in Physics, Biology and Chemistry were undertaken.
These, she said, included measurements, acid base reactions, separation of mixtures, food tests, photosynthesis, reflection of light and basic electronics, density, ratio and proportion, PH scale, scientific simulation, among others.
“This is to enable them appreciate what they have been taught in theory into practical,” she added.
Mentoring session under the STEM Clinic was done by Emefa Anthonio, HR Coordinator at Yinson Ghana assisted by National Service Personnel at the company – Middy Benyah, Saviour Atadja, Kimberly Ann Adjei and Abena Okyere, who studied Chemistry, Petroleum, Petrochemical and Computer Engineering respectively.
Madam Anthonio encouraged the girls to take science seriously and emphasised that girls are even capable of doing more than boys can do.
Mariam Abdul Rahman, Funkoe M/A Basic School, said: “I have learnt a lot during the science experiments – such as filtration, acid and base, separation of water from sand, water from gari, among others. This will enable me to do better during my exams, especially BECE”.