Kochi Hosts WiSci STEAM Camp to Empower Girls in STEM Education

Kochi, Kerala, served as the host for a seven-day WiSci (Women in Science) camp that convened 100 schoolgirls from India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Held from June 2-8, the in-person WiSci South Asia STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics) camp aimed to advance gender equality and promote STEM education worldwide.

The WiSci Girls’ STEAM camp, a collaborative effort of the US government, provided opportunities for leadership development, skill-building, mentorship, and networking in various STEAM fields. The camp was organized by Girl Up, a global leadership development initiative founded by the United Nations Foundation, in partnership with the US Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, the US Consulate General Chennai, and Rajagiri Business School in Kochi. Caterpillar Foundation, Google, TE Connectivity Foundation, and United Airlines also supported the initiative.

The camp aimed to empower adolescent girls by providing them with transferable leadership tools and training. The participants were given the opportunity to realize their full potential in becoming leaders in their communities, not just in STEAM but in all disciplines.

“We believe investing in girls’ education and leadership development is key to unlocking their full potential and driving economic empowerment in communities globally,” said Dorothy McAuliffe, US State Department Special Representative for Global Partnerships, at the closing ceremony. “We are proud to partner with Girl Up to support this impactful initiative.”

US Consul General Chennai Chris Hodges inaugurated the camp on June 2, emphasizing the US government’s commitment to investing in Women in Science initiatives and the positive changes already witnessed.

“We are working with partners to create this empowering safe space for girl students to excel as future expert champions in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics career fields. These girls, the next generation of STEMinists, will succeed,” said Hodges.

Through interactive workshops, hands-on activities, and engaging discussions with industry experts and peers who shared their passion for social change, the young campers gained valuable insights and inspiration into the world of STEAM.

“We are thrilled to have brought the WiSci Girls’ STEAM Camp to India, providing these bold, brilliant girls from South Asia with a new platform to explore their passion in STEAM. This camp embodies our collective commitment to engaging young women in STEAM and equipping them with the skills and confidence to thrive in this rapidly evolving era of science and technology,” said Girl Up CEO Melissa Kilby.

The science camp curriculum covered a wide range of STEAM topics, including climate science, women’s representation in aviation, artificial intelligence, critical and emerging technology, and more. Campers had the opportunity to interact with leading entrepreneurs, officials, policy makers, and STEAM role models, gaining career guidance to cultivate continuing cross-cultural connections with girls around the region.

“STEAM serves as the vital bridge between science and social impact. I aspire to improve the lives of those around me through accessible, quality healthcare, and WiSci offers me the invaluable opportunity to combine my passion with purpose, making a positive difference in my community and others,” said Lamia, one of the WiSci campers.

Since 2015, more than 1,100 girls and youth allies from 34 countries have participated in WiSci STEAM Camps worldwide, harnessing their week-long experiences to create a lifelong positive impact on the world.

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