Thursday, November 14, 2019 | IGNITE Worldwide Panel at Ummy Nusira Memorial Academy, Akerebiata-Ilorin, Nigeria | by Mr. Abdulraheem Abdulhakeem O
On Nov. 14, four young women experts in STEM fields presented at an IGNITE Worldwide event at Ummy Nusira Memorial Academy, Akerebiata-Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, under the watch of ABDULRAHEEM Abdulhakeem O., IGNITE Leader.
The four panelists, RONKE Joseph (Mrs), AISHA Abdulhazeez (Mrs), NKENCHINYERE Nwosu (Mss) and SULIAT Onaolapo (Mss) made the event so colorful that all the young girls listened with attention and participated well.
Mss SULIAT, a social scientist, paved the way by telling her story. She said, “I was a class captain, and a head prefect at elementary and high school respectively.” She summarized her talk with a statement that “what a man can do, a woman can do better.” The girls applauded.
NKECHI, a young surveyor/engineer, excited the girls with the captions on IGNITE banners in the hall, and the girls were so happy to read the words aloud: “Transforming the gender balance in STEM Classes.”
Mrs RONKE, also a scientist and graduate of Physics, explained how she has been able to combine her office job with house responsibilities. She shared that, “Women are good managers at all points,” and that the girls can do better with determination.
AISHA (Mrs), a computer expert, demonstrated her skills by explaining some concepts on the computer and the beauty of being a technologist. In response, 90% of the girls promised to take technology courses in college.
Four girls said that they would like to come with AISHA to her company and learn more about computer application.
Mss NKECHI & SULIAT explained how the young girls can be successful in life by studying very hard, and to always seek clarification on what they do not know in class. They told the girls: “You can become the future technology leaders and great innovators of our world.”
The stories of the panelists sparked the girls’ curiosity, and they all wanted to talk. Several girls gave presentations about their own goals and experiences. Here is some of what they shared:
“It is good to get a guide. And with IGNITE programs, I am guided.”
“When I dream of becoming a teacher, I always wonder teacher of what subject? And today, I realize that my dream is to become a STEM career teacher, like the women experts.”
One student repeated after one of the experts, who said, What a man can do, a woman can do better." She added: “As young girls, and professional women-to-be, we have to be courageous, smart and creative towards becoming a good entrepreneur after we have graduated from Institution.”
Two students also presented talks on the need for their school to buy more computers for their class lessons.
In the questions and answers session, the girls asked thoughtful questions, such as:
- “How do I choose what course to study in the future?”
- “How can I build confidence and be a STEM leader?”
- "How do I choose one of all STEM careers? Because being a scientist, a technologist, an engineer or mathematician as heard today are all so fascinating.”
At the end of the event, the volunteers gave the girls an opportunity to practice browsing on the IGNITE website on the computer.
The event lasted for about two and a half hours. We are so thankful to the volunteers who donated their time and inspired the girls!