Higherlife Foundation recently hosted a luncheon where the United States Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines, talked about “TeachHer”, a program aimed at encouraging adolescent girls to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Design, and Math (STEAM) careers. TeachHer runs on four pillars which are Activate, Train, Inspire and Sustain.
With women in STEAM careers earning 33% more than their non-tech counterparts, an expanded pool of girls and women in STEAM-related fields offers a significant tool for national governments to promote sustainable development. Improving educational outcomes for women and girls is a powerful force for achieving transformational progress in developing countries, ending poverty, and ensuring a life of dignity for all. Research shows that if girls are not exposed to the opportunities that STEAM careers offer by the end of middle school, they are unlikely to pursue education and careers in these fields.
TeachHer works with target Member States, UNESCO regional field offices and institutes, and NGO leaders in STEAM training to implement and promote programs that will support girls’ education in STEAM. The focus is on developing a master corps of gender sensitive STEAM teachers who will tangibly increase the number of adolescent girls interested in pursuing STEAM careers, along with ongoing professional development and networking for teachers.
Higherlife Foundation with Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) produced a report on STEM education titled “Diagnostic Study on Status of STEM Education in Zimbabwe”, which also revealed the need to boost uptake of STEM subjects by the girl child. Download the report here: Diagnostic Study on Status of STEM Education in Zimbabwe