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 What is STEM?


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)  education is  very important in our school's curriculum. It helps to shape up the future of students through the knowledge gained and the practical aspects imbibes in them love for inquiries, creativity, innovation, originality as well as love for technology. It also teaches the student how to work with others in a team environment.  

All over the world, it is a known fact that the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), have remained predominantly male dominated. In the past girls were discouraged from pursuing STEM related disciplines. It was even considered unladylike for any girl seeking a career in STEM no matter how smart she was.

Women still face a lot of obstacles/challenges today in STEM education which is still male dominated.

In Nigeria, girls who were discouraged to study STEM related disciplines, were asked to pursue a career in teaching or liberal arts instead.

There are unique women all over the world who despite the challenges faced in a male - dominated space, pursued and recorded great achievements in STEM related fields. Amongst them are:

Ruth Rogon Benerito ( January 12, 1916 - October 5, 2013

Ruth Rogon Benerito was an American Chemist and pioneer in Bio products. Benerito is credited with saving the cotton industry through her discovery of a process to produce a wrinkle - free, stain - free and flame - resistant cotton fabrics, by attaching organic chemicals to cotton fibres. Benerito also developed a method to harvest fats from seeds for use in intravenous feeding of medical patients. This system became the foundation for the system we use today.

Dr Mary Engle Pennington ( October 8, 1872 - December 27, 1952

Was an  American Chemist and refrigeration Engineer, at the turn of the 20th Century. At that period, women who wanted to attend college faced a lot of obstacles, but Pennington completed her her PhD and went on to work as a bacteriological Chemist at the U.S. department of Agriculture. She worked at the USDA where she was Chief  of the newly established food Research laboratory. Her pioneering research on sanitary methods of processing, storing and shipping food led to achievements such as the first standards for milk safety as well as universally accepted standards for the refrigeration of food products.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa ( Born May 10, 1958). An American Astronaut and administrator was the first Hispanic woman to travel into space(1993). She was the first Hispanic ( and second woman) to be named the director of NASA Johnson Space Center. She was also a research Engineer and inventor with patents for optical systems. She is a specialist in the development of optical systems.

The Importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)


Here are some Nigerian women who made great impact in  STEM field:

Uchenna Onwuamaegbu-ugwu 

Uchenna Onwuamaegbu-ugwu is the founder of Edufun Technik, an Onitsha based outfit which engages in training secondary school students especially girls in STEM skills so as to build a great careers in future. She is known to mentor young secondary school girls involved in technovation challenge some of which won the 2018 edition for developing FD Detector, an application for combating fake drugs, a menace in the Nigerian healthcare sector.

Cynthia Adaeze Brute Chinule

Cynthia Brute is a first class graduate of Mathematics from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, is the founder of Productive Education and Effective Leadership (PEEL) initiative, a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower and provide quality education to develop leadership potentials, and to meet the human needs of youth around the world. She teaches underprivileged and dropout kids mathematics in Igbo Language and Pidgin to help them develop capacities in the subject.

Professor Grace Alele- Williams

Professor Alele- Williams is the first Nigerian female to earn a PhD. in Mathematics, the first female Professor of Mathematics and the first female Vice Chancellor of a Nigerian Graduates University. She was Chairman Curriculum Review Committee in 1973 and a member of the governing Council of UNESCO institute of education. She held the position of Vice President of the world Organization for Early Childhood Education and a Regional Vice President for the third World Organization for women in Science.

Adetola Salau

Adetola Salau is the founder and Director of Charisma 4U Educational Foundation, a social innovation enterprise focused on redesigning the educational system for innovation. She is a global educator and author of more than 8 books, including " Re- engineering Out Minds  for innovation" which has been critically acclaimed as a roadmap for transformation of our educational system.

Njideka Harry

Njideka Harry is the founder of youth for technology foundation which is equipping young Nigerians with skills for the fourth Revolution. Here we are talking about equipping youths with skills in 3D printing and through this her initiative runs an educational and training programs that not only teach 3D printing, but also teach how to build a career around it.

We have so many other women all over the world including Nigeria with great achievements in STEM that was not mentioned in this article, but we hope that with the few mentioned here, their achievements will serve as a source of encouragement and motivation to as many female students as possible who seek to pursue a career in a STEM field.

Beatrice Akaeme



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