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Saturday, November 25, 2017

South Africa: New science learning app targets teenage girls in Johannesburg | IT News Africa

Photo: Fundisiwe Maseko
Fundisiwe Maseko, Research Assistant at Council For The Build Environment reports, "The I Am Science initiative launched by Goethe-Institut is in line with movements such as #BlackGirlMagic, the initiative aims to work against race and gender biases that young girls and women face daily."

Photo: IT News Africa

The initiative is aimed at early high school girls in disadvantaged urban areas and combines science activities; video, and digital learning

Women make up only 30% of science researchers worldwide and that figure is even lower when it comes to black women pursuing a career in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector. Unequal access to education and gender stereotypes still prevent girls from being curious about science. For many girls in South Africa the world of science remains an impenetrable space.

The project is rolled out in a two-week programme at different schools. By creating entertaining and accessible science videos, presented by girls, the project hopes to increase curiosity in science and shift perceptions about girls in science. As American activist Marian Wright Edelman said, “You can’t be what you can’t see”.

For the past two months, I Am Science has implemented programmes at three Gauteng schools. 
Short, professional videos of girls from Soweto, Tembisa and Alex doing exciting, hands-on science activities have been uploaded to YouTube as well as turned into video quizzes and published on local learning app Levelup. The app allows teen users to earn digital tokens for submitting correct answers, which are redeemable for airtime and data.

This is the first project in South Africa to co-create peer-to-peer, educational, science video content with girls. It is implemented by the Goethe-Institut with support from the GIZ and financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

When asked what she thought about science after completing the programme, grade 10 Fons Luminus Secondary School pupil, Tsakane Nxumalo said, “Science is everywhere!”
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Source: IT News Africa


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