Our third day of running the workshops went extremely well! The first schools, King David and Kigali Parents took part in the Aerospace, Biomedical, Product Design and Civil Engineering workshops and they were really engaged and great to work with. It was especially good to see the teachers of these schools so enthusiastic about what we were doing, one invited us to their school to talk more about engineering career paths which we hope to fit in before leaving next week.
As well as our workshops the school girls were given motivational talks by Professor Jolly and Beatrice Mironko who work at the University of Rwanda headquarters. These speeches explored topics such as gender stereotypes we are exposed to from an early age and why it’s wrong that girls feel they can’t or shouldn’t study STEM subjects. The empowering messages were not only helpful to the school girls attending the workshops but also for us running them. It was really encouraging for us to see women so passionate about what we’re trying to achieve here.
After lunch we were joined by Lycée de Kigali and ran the Mechanical, Software, Civil and Renewable Energy and Water Engineering workshops. Again it was an amazingly interactive bunch of girls and we had a really nice afternoon with them. It’s really rewarding to see them so interested in the workshops and coming up with some pretty creative products/structures/devices given the short time frame! It’s nice too, to hear at the end of the workshops a few of the girls were discussing what type of engineers they want to be! This group were lucky enough to be joined by Alice Tasca, a lecturer at the Department of Architecture for an inspirational speech about women in engineering and technology.
To top off this great day we received an email from The Institute of Mechanical Engineers to let us know we were successful in our application for a Group Project Award! We were unbelievably pleased as the money we received means we can definitely afford all of the transport for the school girls attending the workshops and can ensure the continuation of the project next year.
We can’t believe we’ll be flying home in a week’s time, since being here time has passed so quickly! It feels like we’ve achieved great things so far and we’re looking forward to what else we can do in this final week.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned!