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August 13, 2018
Over the last two weeks, the 2018 WiSci STEAM Camp brought together nearly 100 high school girls from five countries to learn about coding, robotics, leadership and more. They had some incredible experiences discovering new fields and innovative technologies with the help of trainers and mentors from Intel, Google, NASA, and more.
Now that the girls have returned home — including the U.S., Kenya, eSwatini, Ethiopia, and all over Namibia — we asked a few of them to share with us their hopes and visions for the future:
15 years old
Natalie has attended school in three countries due to her mother’s job with the UN Development Programme. Though some in her community believe girls should stay at home, Natalie’s mother was a role model for pursuing a career.
“My dream would be to graduate from Harvard Law School and then work in the U.S. as a forensic detective because my favorite show growing up was NCIS.”
17 years old
Iyambo has loved science since primary school. She has always been a curious person and relishes discovering everything from how the human body is composed of cells to building apps that are accessible to people in all communities. She says that the Google classes at WiSci confirmed her love for her chosen STEAM field:
“They taught us many things, how to develop apps and how you can use them to help people in our communities. It actually made me love computer science much more, which is why I’d like to pursue it as a future career.
I would like to complete my high school and go to university at least. If I can get a scholarship then I’ll go abroad. If not, I’ll come to this university, the Namibia University of Science and Technology, and do computer science. That’s what has been interesting to me so far and I think it’s the best career I can ever opt for.”
17 years old
Beza’s love for challenge is what got her interested in pursuing STEAM: “In the 9th grade, I was listening to BBC News and they were saying how there’s really less involvement in girls in the STEAM fields,” she says. “I thought, ‘That’s not true. I love physics and math.’ I tried to push myself more into those fields. And then I fell so in love with them.”
In fact, Beza loves physics and math — plus her technical drawing classes back in Ethiopia — so much that she’s still debating her future career options. “I haven’t decided yet but I’m thinking about studying computer science and architecture, and software engineering,” she says.
16 years old
Samkay loves writing poetry — a skill she demonstrated during the WiSci Talent Show — but she wants to pursue a career as a scientist and medical doctor. “My mom is a nurse and growing up alongside her just made me want to help people the way she does.”
Through WiSci’s NASA classes, Samkay has become more interested in the geospatial mapping tools that allow you to track changes in the environment. She also made other great discoveries: “When this opportunity came, it just landed on my lap and I had to take it because I saw it as an opportunity for a young woman like me to prove myself, for me to see my options and try my best to achieve the best for myself. So WiSci is like the greatest thing that has ever happened to me because I got to learn a lot of things, and I believe I’m still going to learn a lot of things.”
16 years old
Renata has had a passion for STEAM for years, especially mathematics. Though she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do for a career, spending time at WiSci has given Renata a chance to explore new fields and possibilities:
“I really want to advocate for something and do something on behalf of others when I’m working. So I could try to do something for accessibility like the people at Google or I could work for a nonprofit like my mom. I don’t know. I’m just so excited to get out there. One of our Google teachers, she worked for like five different industries. So I’m thinking why not just do that and try out every bit of your dreams?”
Women in Science (WiSci) Girls STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, and Mathematics) Camp is a private public partnership (PPP) between the U.S. Department of State’s Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships, UN Foundation’s Girl Up Initiative, Intel Corporation, and Google. In 2018, the camp will bring approximately 100 high school girls from the African continent and the U.S. together for 13 days in Namibia to explore the STEAM fields and access mentorship opportunities and leadership training.