2 July 2018

Namibia: Women's Science Camp Concludes - Girls Inspired to Take Up Careers in Science, Tech Fields

The Women in Science (WiSci) STEAM camp ended on a high point last week when Intel Corporation sent 100 ecstatic high school girls home with their own tablet to help them on their road to becoming future scientists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians.

U.S. Ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, during the closing ceremony at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) said the camp was just a beginning.

"As you return home, I encourage you to keep the spirit of WiSci going. Be an ambassador for all that WiSci stands for: intellectual curiosity, cross-cultural understanding, and support for young women interested in STEAM fields," she added.

NUST played host to the two week long camp from 17-29 June where about 30 representatives from Google, Intel, and NASA engaged with girls from Ethiopia, Kenya, Swaziland (eSwatini), the United States, and Namibia.

Namibia was represented by 36 girls from 11 different regions. The aim of the camp was to encourage girls to take up careers in the science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and mathematics (STEAM) fields while developing their leadership abilities at the same time. The camp was fully funded by the U.S. State Department.

The U.S. State Department selected Namibia to host the fourth annual WiSci camp following a competitive selection process between several other African countries. The previous camps were held in Rwanda, Peru, and Malawi.

"Our fourth WiSci is in the books, and I think this may have been our best one yet. You are now WiSci alumni, part of a group of 417 young women who have passed through the WiSci 'halls,' now equipped with the opportunity to spread your STEAM and leadership skills," said Thomas Debass, Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, to the girls at the closing ceremony.

The Deputy-Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr. Becky Ndjoze-Ojo lauded NUST for successfully hosting the event while reading a keynote address on behalf of the minister, Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi.

"This camp was a resounding success and I am glad that NUST carried Namibia's flag high. Following a career in a STEAM field is not always the easiest option, but you have been given a very unique opportunity through this impactful and life-changing event."

Dr. Kandjii-Murangi emphasized that trends like artificial intelligence and machine learning are looming on the horizon for Africa's youth and that innovative camps like this will help prepare fellow Africans to deal with future job demands.

Caption: Almost 100 girls from Ethiopia, Kenya, Swaziland (eSwatini), the United States and Namibia took part in the Women in Science (WiSci) Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Design and Mathematics (STEAM) camp hosted by the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

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