Taungana: The movement for rural high school girls to explore STEM

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Thirty high school girls from disadvantaged rural communities in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia will be gathering in Johannesburg for the Taungana STEM Expo later this month.

Taungana (which means “we have come together” in Shona) is a movement that provides rural high school girls with an opportunity to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The Taungana STEM Expo is a seven-day career guidance programme taking place from 24th to 30th August. Its aim is to give young girls a chance to meet and engage with professionals in STEM, get exposed to leading STEM organisations and careers and promote STEM in their communities.

The theme for this year’s expo is “Decoding STEM Careers”

“Africa is a developing continent with a great need for development in the STEM fields. Access to information and exposure to STEM education and careers is extremely limited for students in rural schools in Africa. Statistics continue to show the underrepresentation of females in STEM fields and sub-Saharan tertiary institutions,” says the Taungana team

The Taungana STEM Expo is organised by three women-led non-profit organisations from Southern Africa: STEM-IT-Forward from South Africa, Asikana Network from Zambia and Techwomen Zimbabwe.

Taungana launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help fund the expenses to bring the girls to the expo. Although it wont reach its goal by the time the campaign tomorrow (unless a really generous backer donates the remaining funds at the last minute) the amount raised will still go to Taungana.

During the expo, the girls will be visiting world-class STEM giants in the energy, petrochemical, food, research science, aviation, mining, health sciences, pharmaceutical and STEM entrepreneurship sectors from in and around Johannesburg.

[Source – Slideshare, Image – Indiegogo]