Covestro organizes Season 2 of STEM Workshop for Girls in Mumbai
In this 2nd season of scientific discovery, 1400 girls aged 11-15 from schools across Mumbai are set to have have an interactive and unbelievably fun experience around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
These 45-minute STEM workshops have been specially crafted by experts from India and overseas. 15-20 girls shall participate per workshop with 3-4 workshops scheduled throughout the day. The workshops run simultaneously to accommodate all students in a single day.
The workshops impacted 1327 girls and 42 schools.
Day 1 (November 8)
Covestro (India) amplified its steps towards encouraging girl child to pursue careers in Science Technology Engineering Maths (STEM) with its 2nd edition of STEM workshop in Mumbai. The week long workshop beginning 8th November 2017 is being organised along with Greenlight4girls, Nehru Science Center, Ministry of Culture, Mumbai and Chandramohan Foundation. The workshop is highly interactive and has 3 experiments in addition to a novel session ‘Science on Sphere’. Experiments on Human DNA give the chance to girls students to see their own DNA and not only that, some of them also wore it as a unique necklace. Experiment of Polymer Science explores the magic of mixing two different chemical compounds or naturally occurring polymers and watch it transforms into a new product, Polymer Putty. In the amazing Vibrobots workshop on electronics, the girls will make their own mini robots and watch it spin.
The workshop was inaugurated by his excellency Dr. Juergen Morhard, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai along with Guest of Honor Dr. Pheroza J. Godrej, Godrej Group. In addition to this, there were representation from workshop partner Greenlight for Girls, Nehru Science Centre and Chandramohan Foundation. Biggest inspiration for the students was Dr. Neha Phadke, Scientist from our own country India working at Research and Development our global headquarters in Germany.
The girls seemed very excited and curiously asked several questions to the expert panel, which was an indication of their exploratory and imaginary minds. It was a great experience for the girls as they left with smiles on their faces and a dream in their eyes… hopefully to pursue career in STEM space.
The schools that participated on this day were: Green lawns School, S. M. Shetty International School, Holy Name High School - Fort, Udayachal High School - Vikhroli, St. Gregorious High School - Chembur.
Day 2 (November 9)
Geared up with more energy, the second day of STEM Workshop for Girls welcomed about 195 girls for the program. Various schools of different backgrounds from across Mumbai and suburbs participated on Day 2 of #STEM4girls session.
To make the workshop meaningful and motivating for participants, the workshop begins with an experience sharing session by prestigious women experts in STEM each day to inspire and encourage these girls to take up STEM learning. This also gives all the girls opportunity to get an insight in the life of these personalities and learn from their life stories.
On Day 2 of the workshop, we had Prof. Meenakshi Thakur, Head of Dept. of Radio - Diagnosis at Tata Memorial Center, was our woman scientist of the day. She currently works in Breast Imaging and Cross Sectional Imaging. She took us on a journey of what inspired her to take up radiology and how presently she deals with various aspects and cases related to cancer. She had a candid conversation on how she wanted to help and heal people as well as her dream to become Doctor since beginning. The girls were very engrossed in the session which was concluded with questions / answer session.
The session was then followed up by workshop based on STEM principles and a special session of ‘Science on Sphere’.
The schools that participated on this day were: Kv school - Mankhurd, Balvikas mandir, MGM parulekar - Vasai, Taramai Vartak - Virar, Marathi Vidyalay.
Day 3 (November 10)
Day 3 of the #STEM4Girls was very unusual. Special Guest, Dr. Vidita Vaidya, Professor of Dept. of Biological Sciences at TIFR enthralled all the students with her very powerful and motivational talk. She used an unconventional approach of explaining to the girls the importance of dreaming big, focusing on the unknown and how feeling stupid is the key to great discovery. She detailed her journey of getting into science and how she never stood first in the school. She closed her session with a simple message, ‘It's okay to be stupid and not understand but it’s not okay to give up or think that one cannot understand things ever. Never to stop learning and trying’. Interestingly she emphasised students to continuously keep on #PushBoundaries and venture into unknown territory.
Her motivating talk not only inspired the girls but also impacted all the other members present. Students then went on with their interesting experiments making the Day 3 of STEM4Girls workshop a mega learning experience for everyone.
The schools that participated on this day were: Vissanji Academy - Andheri east, Gopi birla memorial school - walkeshwar, Fatima- ghatkopar, St. Xaviers, Seth C D Barfiwala school - Andheri, Veer bhagat singh high school - Malad, Arya vidya mandir, Ram Ratna International School - Uttan Bhayander
Day 4 (November 11)
Day 4 of #STEM4Girls workshop began with the introductory remarks from Covestro role model scientist and Greenlight for Girls representative. Day 4 session had a surprisingly powerful speaker Dr. Swati Bedekar, Vatsalya Foundation from Vadodara. She actively works on larger issue of affordable sanitation solutions across the world. while talking to students about her journey as well as how she got inspiration to work in the area of making cost effective and organic sanitary napkins, she innovatively explained the natural process of reproduction and shared details about the menstruation cycle with the participants. She dealt with the taboo subject of menstruation with sensitivity, maturity and with required humour. The girls were made to understand that it's nothing but a natural process that a girl’s body undergoes. She not only made the girls comfortable but also highlighted the importance of not shying away from talking about the subject.
The schools that participated on this day were: Balmohan school - Dadar, Maratha mandir, AKI girls - Kurla (W), AVM - Bandra, AVM - Juhu, B. D. Somani International School - Cuffe Parade, Rajasthan mahila high school - D Ward, Kamberkar
Day 5 (November 13)
Day 5 of #STEM4girls focused on a very important subject but is very seldom talked about openly. Dr. Alka Subramanyam, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Nair Hospital, Mumbai in her special talk spoke about how she works with children having special needs and addresses cognitive issues in the elderly. The interactive session with Alka was an eye-opener for the girls. She described to them the entire journey taken by a student of Medicine. She went on to elaborate the professional scope of Psychiatry as well as adjacent fields. Day 5 had one of the most lively and inquisitive Q&A session at the end, it was amazing to see the level of girl students curiosity for the subject and interest in such a complex topic.
The schools that participated on this day were: Vartak school - Virar, Father Agnel school - Vashi, Auxilium convent - Wadala, KVK Ghatkopar Sarvajanik Vidyalaya - Ghatkopar, St. Mary's Convent High School - Mulund, Taibiyah high school - Bhendi bazar.
Day 6 (November 14)
The Day 6 of #STEM4girls workshop revolved around a popular and relevant stream of STEM – computer science. Prof. Dr. Preethi Jyothi, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Bombay, guided the girls on the various aspects of pursuing a fruitful career in the field of Computer Science. She highlighted the vastness of the field and the various opportunities which are emerging due to the latest development in technology. She explained how computer science is the most versatile discipline connected to all the other disciplines. She commented on several complex concepts researchers are focusing on such as speech recognition and voice search. She also emphasised on ever increasing interest in topics of artificial intelligence, linguistic computing and deep learning across the world.
The schools that participated on this day were: Vartak high school - Virar, The Cathedral and John Connon School , Fort - Colaba, Humara Foundation - Mumbai Central, Jankalyan Samiti - Nashik, Hera english school - Bhiwandi, Euro school - Airoli
Day 7 (November 15)
Day 7 of #STEM4girls was very special as it was not only the last day of the workshop but it also had a very special guest. The scientist for the day was a renowned personality, Jyeshtharaj Joshi, an Indian chemical engineer, nuclear scientist, consultant and teacher, widely known for his innovations in nuclear reactor designs. He has been awarded for his innovations in the field of science, greatest being the Padma Bhushan award. Reflecting on the cause of this workshop and taking the opportunity he engaged the girls by narrating stories about two great scientists in the world – Marie Curie & Michael Faraday. The concluding message which he derived from both the stories was how despite of all the challenges and difficulties, both the personalities made it big with their discoveries and today their concepts are the basis of other inventions. He concluded his session with a message for everyone to embrace difficulties, show perseverance and be persistent in whatever one wants to achieve in life.
The schools that participated on this day were: Vartak high school - Virar, Saraswati mandir - Mahim west, Vidya Pratishthan's new English medium school - Baramati, Jasudben M L school - Khar west, St Joseph's high school - Vikhroli