Monthly Archives

September 2019

SDG aligned student projects

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We set out to mentor 150 high schools girls between the ages of 14 to 18 years from public and private schools in Mombasa, Kenya with the support of local partners. We surpassed this target and 199 high school girls were trained from 13 public and private high schools in Mombasa Objective 2:We set out to train 25- 30 young women and men professionals from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields who will be the trainers to conduct the training for the girls, in the end, 24 young women and men trained as trainer of trainers. 4 lead trainers from the implementing partners. 2016 Mombasa Girls in Stem Alumni were also trained as volunteers

In the 2017-2018 funding period, The program has trained 199 high school girls and 24 ToTs (professionals, university Students and 2016 Alumni volunteers) in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – based curriculum. 3 schools in Mombasa County participated in the 2017/18 program. These include:

  • Tumaini High school
  • Likoni mixed High school
  • Moi Forces Academy
  • Mt Sinai Academy
  • Mbaraki Girls Secondary School
  • Changamwe Secondary School
  • Kajembe High
  • St Charles Lwanga Secondary
  • Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Secondary
  • Maweni mixed Secondary school
  • Memon Academy
  • Qubaa Muslim School
  • Shariff NassirIn January 2018, training sessions for ToTs begun and were held on Saturdays at Swahili Pot Hub in Mombasa. The first training, Human centred Design was held on 20th January. The objectives for the design thinking session was to give ToTs with design thinking principles to train girls in creative thinking processes and problem solving methods as they design their projects. Similar training sessions were carried out for the duration of the month and these included one day training sessions on Science methods, and Geographic Information Systems, Software Engineering and Mobile App development, Mathematical modelling, Robotics and Engineering sessions.Mombasa Girls in STEM launch

    Mombasa Girls in STEM 2017 was launched on March 17th 2018 at the Qubaa secondary school Hall in Mombasa. Here, the partners Techwomen Kenya and Pwani Teknowgalz, inducted the public that included teachers, parents, Trainer of Trainers and the public on the genesis of the program and its objectives. The launch also enabled ToTs who had applied for the project understands their role better and their expected output.

    School Visits

    The County Education Department’s approval was sought and both private and public schools were officially invited to participate in the program. From the 13 schools that agreed to participate, each school had approximately 15 to 20 girls join and these were girls from Form 1 to Form 4 classes. The students were divided into teams of about 5 to 7 girls and each team assigned a Trainer to direct and advise on their project. Four lead trainers were also assigned to each region of school to monitor overall school project progress and logistics per school.

Mombasa Girl in STEM Fair

The project culmination was a STEM fair held on 22nd September 2018, where a platform was provided for the participating high school students to exhibit their STEM based solutions to community problems in Mombasa modelled around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These projects were showcased to local government leaders, local professionals, students, teachers and the general public. The Three judges who evaluated the STEM solutions were: Ms Nayla Said, Community worker at Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Mr Samuel Ngugi, Director of Library Digitization in Education department, Mombasa County Government, and Mr Paul Akwabi, CEO TeckKidz.

STEM Solutions Exhibited at the Fair School

Projects/Solutions

Non Toxic Mosquito coil

Buy second hand academic books- mobile application

Bedbug Repellent

Bio composting tumbler

Smart garbage bin

Hydroponics system to test ocean water fertilizer

Insecurity hotspots – Mobile Application

Smokeless, domestic waste Incinerator

Roofing tiles from Sand / recycled Plastic

Beauty soap from Plant based additives

Electricity generating Wind energy harvester

Crème Soap from recycled soap scraps and Ziziphus leaves

Automated fruit pickers

STEM mentor connector – mobile application

Charcoal Briquettes from charcoal dust and waste papers

Report Early marriages – mobile application

Smart management of Waste

Mosquito trapper

Wall bricks from beach sand and recycled plastics

Security system that detected body heat

Report Assault & get medical help – mobile application

Insecurity Victim help – mobile application

Water crisis solution – GIS and Moringa seeds

Garbage collector connector – mobile application

Use of Salty water to light a bulb

Report Illegal dumping of garbage – mobile application

Water Desalination system

Food waste to a composting Facility – mobile application

Traffic grid lock avoider – mobile application

Smart stick for the visually impaired to navigate independently

Light and fan automated system

Matatu pooling for students – mobile application

Gas sensor to detect cooking gas leaks in the house

Low cost Vacuum cleaner

Sukuma wiki cutter

The project involved the Mombasa County Education department in the identification and selection of public and private schools in the county for participation. The department also provided letters to the selected schools introducing TechWomen Kenya, Pwani Teknowgalz and the project. The Swahilipot Hub availed their premises for all Trainer of Trainer trainings of the project.

Going forward

The project managed to gain the support of the local government through the county officials in education and local businesses. The visitor and parents present indicated interest in purchasing the projects’ products while others wanted to collaborate in commercialization and scaling. Going forward, TechWomen Kenya is still working to make the project and STEM Fair an annual event in Mombasa and the surrounding counties.

For more, please do get in touch with us on techwomenkenya2014@gmail.com

Learn more about our 2016 project cycle!

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Our project objective was to mentor 150 high schools girls between the ages of 14 to 18 years from public
and private schools in Mombasa, Kenya. We’re happy that we trained 180 high school girls trained from 11 public and private high schools in Mombasa

Additionally, we set out to train 25- 30 women professionals from Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics fields who would be our trainer of trainees. We successfully trained 24 young women trained as trainer of trainees.

Schools we trained at
11 schools in Mombasa county participated in the 2016 program. These include
● Aga Khan high school
● Maweni Secondary
● Hassan Joho Secondary
● Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Secondary
● Mt. Sinai High
● Likoni Mixed Secondary
● Kajembe High
● Memon High
● St Charles Lwanga Secondary
● Mtongwe Secondary
● Mama Ngina Girls Secondary

Mombasa Girls in STEM launch
Mombasa Girls in STEM 2016 was launched on December 12th 2015 at the Swahili Cultural Center in Mombasa where the partners, Techwomen Kenya and Pwani Teknowgalz, inducted the public that included (teachers, Trainer of Trainers and the public) on the genesis of the program and its objectives. The launch also enabled ToTs who had applied for the project understand their role better and their expected output. An online publicity drive was also conducted from November to December 2015 with a call of applications for ToTs

Trainer of Trainers (ToT) sessions
In January 2016, training sessions for ToTs begun and were held on Saturdays at the Senator’s office in Kizingo Mombasa. The first training, Design Thinking was held on 16th January and was run by Global Minimum.The objectives for the design thinking session was to enamor ToTs with design thinking principles to train girls in creative
thinking processes and problem solving methods as they design their projects. Similar training sessions were carried out for the duration of the month and these included one day training sessions on Science and Geographic Information Systems, Software Engineering and Mobile App development and Robotics and Engineering sessions.

School visits
The County Education Department’s approval was sought and both private and public schools were officially invited to participate in the program. From the 11 schools that agreed to participate, each school had approximately 15 to 20 girls join and these were girls from Form 1 to Form 4 classes. The students were divided into teams of about 5 to 7 girls and each team assigned a ToT to direct and advise on their project. A lead trainer from Pwani Teknowgalz was also assigned to each school to monitor overall school project progress and logistics per school.

Mombasa Girl in STEM Fair
The project culmination was a STEM fair held on 13th August 2016, where a platform was provided for the participating high school students to exhibit their STEM based solutions to community problems in Mombasa modeled around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The projects were showcased to local government leaders, local professionals, students, teachers and the general public. Three judges; Kennedy Wakia, the Cultural and Educational Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Embassy, Nairobi, Dr. Suhaila Hashim, Head of Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Pwani University, and Zani Gichuki, Country Director, Women in Engineering Kenya.
The guest of honor was Tamarind Murrietta, Commercial Attaché, U.S Embassy, Nairobi. Furthermore, the Senator of Mombasa County, Honorable Hassan Omar, also attended the fair and was on hand to motivate the girls and assess the each project’s feasibility.

Coordination
The project involved the Mombasa County Education department in the identification and selection of public
and private schools in the county for participation. The department also provided letters to the selected
schools introducing TechWomen Kenya, Pwani Teknowgalz and the project. The Office of the Senator of Mombasa County availed their office for all Trainer of Trainer trainings of the project.

The project was an overall success. The project targets were not only reached but surpassed. The project also managed to gain the support of the local government through the Senator’s office and local businesses. Gulf African Bank Kenya donated 2 desktop computers and awarded 3 scholarships to Likoni Mixed Secondary school based on TechWomen Kenya’s recommendation. The school has no computers and the participating students had the least knowledge in STEM.

In addition, the lead teacher from the most outstanding school during the project, Mt. Sinai Secondary, informed TechWomen Kenya after the fair that the students’ grades had improved over the months since the start of the project. This was an extremely positive outcome of the project. Going forward, TechWomen Kenya would like to make the project and STEM Fair an annual event in Mombasa and the surrounding counties.

ToT training sessions

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Meetings with the Mombasa County Department of Education were held to discuss the project. They approved the implementation of the project in high schools in Mombasa and provided a letter of introduction to the proposed participating schools. 5 Lead Trainers, 8 Trainer of Trainers and 8 volunteers were trained in
○ Human Centred Design/Design Thinking
○ Science, Geospatial data and the Sustainable Development Goals
○ Robotics and Engineering
○ Mathematics
○ Mobile App Development

 

  • Human Centered Design and Design Thinking including sessions around social enterprise awareness by inspiration, ideation and implementation, this was led by Michael Tanui from DOT Kenya
  • Joash Amemba from Open Build led robotics and engineering workshops with an emphasis on programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language and Spark fun kits.
  • Maths workshops were led by African Maths Initiative. The workshops aimed to inspire ToTs to develop their passion for Math and change perceptions about mathematics through a series of engaging activities beyond the school curriculum.
  • The Science training was led by TechWomen Kenya alum, Umikaltuma Ibrahim and Serah Kahiu with sessions on the scientific method, climate change, pollution and geospatial data.
  • Software app development training was led by TechWomen Kenya and Pwani Teknowgalz project co-ordinators

 

 

Paying it forward: TechWomen Impact Back Home in Kenya.

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Our journey began with our selection for the TechWomen program in mid 2014. The experience was life changing. We were exposed to a wealth of ideas and resources through the TechWomen community; professional and cultural mentors who guided our experience.

Going back home, Kenya, one thing was clear to us – we needed to pay it forward; a concept that was widely advocated during our mentorship. We kicked off our work in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya. Ingrained biases are more prominent in the coast, and girls are less encouraged to take up STEM subjects. Through a tweet in December 2014, we were introduced to Ruth Kaveke and Aisha Abubakar; friends and classmates, who were at the time studying computer science. They ran the women’s arm of an existing organization that was trying to get more local residents in Mombasa into technology. We jointly planned and hosted the first Women In STEM workshop in Mombasa in January 2015.

Recognizing the immediate synergy we had, we held multiple meetings to develop a creative strategy that would get more high school girls from Mombasa into STEM. We submitted our concept; ‘Mombasa Girls In STEM Solve IT’ to the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) and became the first team from Kenya to ever win the competition in 2015. The project’s winning idea developed a dynamic STEM curriculum which used our experiences from TechWomen and our professional expertise. This would be taught to trainers (young, local women and men) who would deliver the content to 150 high school girls in 10 schools in Mombasa. The girls would be placed into teams and tasked with identifying a community problem they want to solve and apply the curriculum’s content in developing a solution. Each solution would be presented at the first ever Girls In STEM Fair in Mombasa. The project was an overwhelming success! 180 high school girls from 11 schools developed 33 STEM solutions in 2016.

By now, Ruth and Aisha, had formed Pwani Teknowgalz; their own women led organization that was carrying out training and outreach on technology. In 2017, we became the first Kenyan team to twice win the AEIF. This time around, we trained 199 high school girls from 13 high schools and held the second Girls In STEM Fair in September 2018.

Through the projects, we have forged partnerships and most importantly, indelible friendships. Teachers like Linah Anyango who provided remarkable leadership during our projects have gone ahead to play major roles in advancing technology in their schools through Technovation Mombasa and Africa Code Week. Ruth and Aisha; whom we mentored, have become well known leaders in the local community; spearheading several initiatives in Kenya. We’ve currently partnered with them to run a ‘STEM Cafe’ in 5 towns in Kenya at the U.S Embassy’s American Spaces. We couldn’t be prouder that Ruth, Aisha and Linah are now part of our larger TechWomen family.

Our trainers; mostly university students and recent graduates have gained additional skills courtesy of the dynamic STEM curriculum and they in turn have trained other students. Thanks to this exposure, they obtained employment or internships as software engineers, science teachers and many more through our networks.

Our mentees have become our peers and our alumni students have now become trainers in Pwani Teknowgalz who are empowering the next generation of women in STEM.

Through Mombasa Girls In STEM, STEM Cafe, Technovation and several other initiatives in Mombasa, Kilifi and beyond, we have reached more young women than we could have imagined. So to our TechWomen mentors – to Anar Simpson, Tanya Kobyluk, Queen Denchukwu, Nashilu Mouen-Makoua, Prachi Gupta, Julia lovin, Mimi Hills, Larissa Shapiro, Alfreda Eghan and countless more who had a part to play in our journey, know that there’s a whole generation of women, whom though you have never met, are thankful to you.

When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed. – Michelle Obama

Umikaltuma Ibrahim – TW14

Sandra Kambo – TW14

Serah Kahiu – TW14

Adah Waseka – TW14

Connect with us

Twitter: @techwomenkenya @pwaniteknowgalz

Website: www.mombasagirlsinstem.com

YouTube: Mombasa Girls in STEM