Women in Science camp: Girl Up, US Department of State host 100 girls from South Asian countries in Kochi

South Asia STEAM Camp
US Consul General Chennai Chris Hodges clicks a selfie with camp counsellors at the opening of WiSci (Women in Science) South Asia STEAM Camp at Rajagiri Business School in Kochi. Photo: US Consulate General Chennai

Ernakulam: Kochi hosted the second in-person WiSci (Women in Science) South Asia STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics) camp from June 2-8, bringing together nearly 100 schoolgirls from India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and the United States. The camp availed of unique opportunities for leadership development, skills-building, mentorship, and networking in various STEAM fields. Girl Up, a global leadership development initiative founded by the United Nations Foundation, organised the camp in partnership with the US Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, the US Consulate General Chennai, and Rajagiri Business School in Kochi, alongside Caterpillar Foundation, Google, TE Connectivity Foundation, and United Airlines.
The WiSci Girls’ STEAM camp is a US government collaborative effort to advance gender equality and promote STEAM education worldwide. By providing adolescent girls with transferable leadership tools and training, these camps strive for participants to realise their full potential in becoming leaders in their communities—not just in STEAM but 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.

US Consul General Chennai Chris Hodges inaugurated the camp in Kochi on June 2. “The US government has invested in Women in Science initiatives whole-heartedly and we have already seen the change happening,” Chris Hodges said.
Through interactive workshops, hands-on activities, and engaging discussions with industry experts and peers who share their passion for social change, the young campers gained valuable insights and inspiration into 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,” Girl Up CEO Melissa Kilby said.

The science camp curriculum covered a range of STEAM topics, including climate science, women’s representation in aviation, artificial intelligence, critical and emerging technology, and more. Campers interacted with leading entrepreneurs, officials, policymakers, and STEAM role models, gaining career guidance to cultivate continuing cross-cultural connections with girls around the region.
Since 2015, more than 1,100 girls and youth allies from 34 countries have been successfully trained at WiSci STEAM Camps around the world, channelling their week-long experiences into creating a lifelong positive impact in the world.

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