The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Global Affiliate at Cummins College of Engineering for Women (CCEW) in India organized a workshop on September 1, 2018 promoting STEM education for underprivileged girls living at the Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS), an Indian education society engaged in women's education. Our primary aim was to help them understand why science and technology is so important in today’s world. It was observed that these girls after 10th grade would drop out of school, take up vocational training, or pursue further education in the field of arts. Very few of them took up science. This was the primary reason we picked the Samstha to promote STEM education, hoping that we would have a significant impact on the girls we taught. For this session, we were accompanied by 20 volunteers who conducted activities for these girls in the Marathi language.
The topic selected was "science in everyday life" to encourage the students to think outside the box and realize that everything we see around us is science. What was once sheer fantasy is now almost reality by virtue of the achievements of humans in science. We created 3 classes for our session with girls in 8th, 9th and 10th grades.
A few of the activities we held were:
- Building the tallest paper tower
- Explaining the litmus test on acidic and basic solutions
- Demonstrating static electricity
There were 3-4 volunteers assigned to each class. The volunteers, panel, staff and students had great fun organizing these activities.
It was teamwork and lots of energy that helped us make this event a success. A desire to do something for society provoked our volunteers to come forward and ignite the spirit of learning in these young minds.