The United States has partnered with the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign, Intel Corporation, Google, and other partners to lead the third annual Women in Science Girls STEAM Camp, to enable to girls to study the science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and mathematics fields. This year’s two week camp is taking place in Malawi, following a 2016 camp in Peru, and a 2015 camp in Rwanda.
Almost 100 high school girls from six African countries—Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, Zambia—and from the United States have convened for a two week program to increase their skills in the STEAM fields. In addition, the program is designed to increase the campers’ leadership skills and networking opportunities.
The curriculum includes coding, app development, engineering, robotics, micro- and molecular biology, and satellite mapping. Throughout the duration of the camp, the girls will share their diverse, multi-cultural experiences and perspectives, forming friendships and connections that will help them to develop both personally and professionally.
“It was my first time seeing a diverse group of girls who barely knew each other… empowering each other, not because they are best friends, but because they realized they have one common feature: they are all girls and want each other to be successful,” wrote a young counselor from the 2015 Rwanda camp.
The U.S. Department of State created the program to empower women and girls in the STEAM fields, help overcome the gender imbalance in those fields, and to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. The Department of State believes that education of women and girls, including expanding opportunities in science and technology, can help create a safer, more prosperous, and secure world by promoting economic growth and enabling women to drive innovation.
During this time of rapid technological development, providing women and girls with access to high-tech resources, like-minded peers, impactful business connections, and inspiring mentors will empower young women to enter the STEAM fields.
“Women in both developing and developed countries represent tremendous promise for economic growth and prosperity,” President Donald Trump recently said at a Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Event in Hamburg, Germany. “When more women participate in the workforce… [the] world economy will grow and millions and millions of people will be lifted out of poverty… Empowering women is a core value that binds us together.”