Worried by the low interest of young African females in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, Junior Achievement Nigeria has trained 100 senior secondary school girls in Nigeria on how to apply STEM principles in addressing social issues.
The training, which was done in collaboration with Junior Achievement Africa and Johnson & Johnson, took place during the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (WiSTEM2D) Innovation Camp in Nigeria.
The one-day innovation camp, which allowed the staff and community leaders to provide hands-on learning experiences to the girls, was aimed at igniting the interest of young African females in STEM.
Foluso Gbadamosi, executive director of JA Nigeria, said the implementation of the WiSTEM2D initiative through JA Nigeria is a remarkable achievement in empowering young girls in Nigeria with the skills and confidence to excel in STEM-related roles.
Gbadamosi said the programme paves the way for a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow, adding that it also removes barriers and creates opportunities, crucial for addressing real-life challenges.
“These young girls represent the future’s STEM leaders, and their current success is a testament to their potential,” she said.
On her part, Nkechi Ukaiwe, country manager of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, said Nigerian women are also part of the global WiSTEM2D, which is why the company brought this initiative to Nigeria.
According to her, every woman has the power to reach her full potential, and WISTEM2D is here to stay as the world advances towards Science, Technology, and Design.
“We know how passionate women are about what they do, and we hope to empower women to shape the future through WiSTEM2D,” she said.
Ukaiwe said Johnson & Johnson believes that good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and progress, and is committed to using its reach and size to improve access, affordability, and healthier communities.
The girls participated in a panel discussion with leading women such as Peace Olumese, Nkechi Ukaiwe, Oyefunke Jaiyesimi, and Victoria Ezeala from Johnson & Johnson.
There were also speed mentoring sessions and networking opportunities and the design thinking workshop was led by a design thinking expert, Femi Luther-Abegunde.