120 High School Girls Graduate from First-Ever WiSci STEAM Camp, Rwanda

WiSci 2015 Graduation Ceremony

On August 15, 2015, 120 high school girls from across Africa and the United States graduated from the first-ever WiSci (Women in Science) STEAM Camp 2015 in Rwanda.

The WiSci STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art & Design) Camp 2015 was a collaborative effort of Meridian International Center with the U.S. Department of State, Girl Up of the UN Foundation, Intel, Microsoft 4Afrika, and the AOL Charitable Foundation, with support from the Rwandan Ministry of Education. This first-of-its-kind camp was developed to respond to gender disparities in STEAM-related fields around the world, and proved to be a great success for the young participants, as well as the public and private sector partners.

WiSci’s three-week curriculum (July 25 – August 15) led each camper to find their passion for STEAM. After dynamic classes, led by expert instructors, campers had the opportunity to apply their new STEAM skills and tools to the world around them, demonstrating how STEAM-based solutions can have real impact in their communities. When developing their solutions, groups considered a wide range of topics, including natural disasters, problems in farming, sexual assault, overcrowding on buses, and littering. Campers also developed pilot projects, pitched their ideas, and developed working models which they presented to their peers, visitors, trainers, and staff at the closing ceremony. During their last week of STEAM, campers worked together in small groups and applied their previous weeks of learning to develop a culminating project.

The WiSci graduation ceremony was attended by Rwandan First Lady Jeanette Kagame, along with U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles and Rwandan Minister of Education Papias Musafiri. Following a ceremony of speeches, each participant received a certificate of graduation from the WiSci STEAM Camp.

To learn more about the WiSci experience, read the campers’ blogs on their Huffington Post WiSci blog site.

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