NMMU Girls for STEM at lunch with STEM women leaders

AUGUST 16, 2016

Girls for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), a programme dedicated to inspiring young girls towards STEM subjects and ultimately careers, hosted a Business Women’s Luncheon at the Propella Business Incubator this past weekend.

The Girls for STEM Pilot Programme is run by NMMU in partnership with Propella Business Incubator, and funded by Charities Aid Foundation.

It brought together 12 leading women in the fields of STEM and related careers with grade nine participants of the programme for a Business Women’s Luncheon to discuss subject and career decisions.

“The pilot programme is the first of its kind, designed to inspire our participants to envision themselves in STEM careers. We felt there was a need to create a platform for them to interact with local role models from STEM-related businesses and academia. 

"It was great to see that so many came out to give of their time to inspire these young girls and support the programme. With their help, we hope to continue the programme next year”, said Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Senior Innovation Manager Mary-Ann Chetty who heads the Girls for STEM Pilot Programme in partnership with the Propella Business Incubator.

“The programme is designed to inspire Girls to understand their strengths and preferences with regard to STEM subjects. We want them to understand their own possibilities and make informed decisions. We aim to inspire and empower them through this programme to work towards their career goals,” she added.

Kamvelihle Tisani (15) from Urban Academy Primary and High School in Port Elizabeth said: “We’re in Grade 9 this year and I will definitely be choosing Maths and Science as two of my matric subjects, so I must get good marks in these.

"As girls we know that we can achieve anything and I am interested in pursuing a career in civil engineering. A friend of my mother’s is a civil engineer and I’ve learnt to love what she does.

"At the Girls for STEM luncheon I asked Ms Sindy Mathura, the Managing Director of Ascon Construction to explain all the different areas in which a civil engineer can work.”

“Girls need the appropriate stimulation to expose them to different career opportunities in order to start envisioning themselves in the scientific and technical careers as adult professionals” says Business Support Manager at Propella Business Incubator Ellen Fischat.