Despite India’s rapid technological advancements, women remain underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. According to a report by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, women account for only 14% of the total workforce in science and technology in India. Additionally, there is a significant gender gap in enrollment and completion rates in STEM education programs. Only 35% of all female students in India enroll in STEM courses at the undergraduate level, and even fewer complete their studies. This gender gap in STEM education and employment has far-reaching consequences for the country’s development, as it limits the potential of talented women and contributes to a lack of diversity in the workforce.
STEM for Girls is a development program aimed at building and enhancing a transforming learning ecosystem in Government Secondary Schools in Assam, with a focus on girls in 8th to 12th standards. The program aims to develop 21st-century skills, digital literacy, a scientific mindset, and gender sensitivity in students, especially girls. In the second phase, the program is expanding to reach the students at the graduation level to build employable skills among the girl students by introducing 100 hours of curriculum on coding, MS Office, etc. The target is to achieve 7000+ students across Assam in the financial Year 2023-24.
Students were introduced with project-based activities which help them to develop their communication and critical thinking skills. The different activates and teaching techniques helps in promoting self-learning and innovation. Materials like worksheets, toolkits, etc. are made available to students for tinkering and exploration, further enhancing their ability to think creatively and independently. These are catalyzed by activating STEM labs in schools followed by conducting Hackathon with students to solve pressing problems in their community. Through this initiative, the STEM for Girls program aims to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the modern world, while also promoting values of inclusivity, diversity, and respect.
The interventions at the field level are executed by Akikaran Fellows who work closely with HMs, Teachers, and Students supported by the Program Team who engage with District Authorities to create a movement of change towards STEM education.