Science, technology, engineering and maths – STEM – are increasingly important in today’s high-skilled, hi-tech job market. Yet, while there’s a growing need for people with skills in these areas, women remain under-represented and people in rural areas are often left behind. In this edition of Learning World Maha Barada looks at initiatives trying to bridge that divide and make the hi-tech sector more accessible to all, irrespective of gender or location.
India: lab on a bike
In this story we follow the travels of a peripetetic teacher bringing the wonders of science to children in remote villages. Equipped with compact mobile labs packed into the panniers of his motorbike Petollu Satyanarayanan gives the opportunity to experience the fun side of science to students who would otherwise miss out because of a lack of facilities at their school. It’s an initiative of the Agastya International Foundation, which believes children in remote locations have as much to offer as their urban counterparts.
Our Lab-on-a-Bike is shortlisted for the 2015 #WISEAwardshttp://t.co/VCqE54wduV cc
WISE_Tweets</a>;</p>— Agastya (AgastyaSparks) May 5, 2015
South Africa: girls in engineering
South Africa has a bold vision of its future as a prosperous and highly developed state. But this ambition is being hampered to an extent by an under-representation of women in sectors that are crucial for progress – science and engineering. The GirlsEng scheme sets out to redress the balance, seeking to attract female students to engineering and striving to break down the barriers that have held them back until now. In this report the Learning World team visits a GirlEng weekend workshop in Durban, where mentoring and confidence-building are seen as the stepping-stones to success for a new generation of female engineers who will help build the South African dream.
Click on the video at the top to see the stories in full