This past week, PED welcomed 15 female students to the Twesomese Community Center for our first launch of a STEM camp. We're excited to share more about this pilot initiative to improve learning outcomes for female students in the sciences.
Working with teachers and our staff, we identified that female students were typically receiving lower test scores within the STEM subjects than their male peers, particularly in physics and chemistry. With the help of our Program Director, Nathan Okiror, our Director of International Operations, Drew Edwards, and PED volunteer Maddie Beattie, we created a hands-on, immersive learning opportunity for female students to not only practice core concepts being assessed on their exams, but to learn more about careers in the STEM fields and feel empowered to explore their options in a safe and comfortable learning environment. Thanks to Jude Tumusiime, a physics teacher from Tooro High School, and Agnes Mirembe, an Examiner of Chemisty with the Uganda National Examinations Board, students have been able to receive more individualized attention and instruction. During the last two days of the camp, students will have an opportunity to meet current female STEM professionals and learn the story of how they emerged in their fields, providing them access to strong female role models and mentors.
What are the desired outcomes?
Through this week and a half long pilot, PED will be collecting data on student performance and mastery of certain skills being assessed on the national exam. We are planning to use this information to track participants' performance throughout the next few months and determine if participation in the camp has led to improved performance in the STEM subjects. This data will help PED determine if offering an after-school program would be impactful for female students in the community.
We cannot wait to share more about the camp with you - stay tuned for stories from female students participating and what they feel are the most valuable lessons they have learned.