STEM Access For Girls: A Facilitators Experience
‘A good education is a foundation for a better future’ – Elizabeth Warren
The Importance of STEM Topics
The various topics that are discussed with the participants of STEM Access For Girls are very important. In my time as a Facilitator, we’ve discussed Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) topics such as Air Pollution and Litter, Computer Science, but also Social Emotional Learning (SEL) topics. Social-Emotional Learning topics such as self-reflection, judgments, and own norms and values are extremely important, especially for the age groups we work with. The group of young girls in our program are often still in their puberty where they often have doubts about themselves and are searching for their own identity. By creating the space for them to ask questions openly or play educational games, we are helping them become more aware of their identity both personally and in STEM, their self-image, self-esteem, and most importantly, their ideal self for the future.
Contribution to Suriname
STEM Access For Girls is a program that teaches young girls about the opportunities that exist in STEM, different aspects of life, as well as the community; all of which can mean a lot to Suriname. The girls are developing themselves at a young age and get the opportunity to form opinions on different topics, where they would like to see a change. For example, in one of the weeks we focus on different kinds of pollution and the cause of climate change; thus the effect it has on human health and the environment. Litter and pollution are a major problem in Suriname and making Surinamese youth aware of the effects it has in Suriname will make them more aware of the negative effects and a step that can contribute to the solution.
My Experience as a STEM Mentor
I’ve been part of this program for two years and so far, I don’t regret my decision to join as a STEM Facilitator. Nothing makes me happier than watching my STEM explorer take on different perspectives about the world, recognizing herself and the role she plays in our society, situations, and problems. The unique component of this program is that it works on self-recognition, self-improvement, and helping us- youth and Facilitators change the negative views we have about ourselves and even things that we do unconsciously.
If I could summarize this program in one sentence, I would say ‘this program feeds that parts of your soul, you never knew existed’ In order to create change and find solutions for problems we face in this world, we should be aware of who we are and where we stand.