INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE
By Avye Couloute from London, UK
The Legacy Award recipient Avye became aware of the gender gap in STEM education and careers at the age of seven and now works to create opportunities for young people, and girls in particular, to explore coding and physical computing.
Hi, I’m Avye. I am 12 years old and on a mission to create opportunities to empower girls to consider STEM activities, education, and careers. I believe it is important for girls and women to see and be aware of other girls and women doing cool things in the STEM world.
After repeatedly observing that most attendees at my workshops were boys, I was determined to encourage more girls to give STEM a go. I believe that sometimes you need to take the lead yourself. So, I decided to organise (with the help of my parents) a series of events targeting girls and I came up with the idea of ‘Girls into Coding’.
“I believe it is important for girls and women to see and be aware of other girls and women doing cool things in the STEM world.”
These events are free to attend and offer girls aged 10-14 an opportunity to explore coding, physical computing and robotics in a secure, dynamic and supportive environment through volunteer assisted workshops. With the help of my mum, I also reach out to other female role models working in STEM, inviting them to give lightning talks at the Girls into Coding events.
I have fundraised and secured support from Microsoft to provide tech-themed books, microcontrollers and physical computing kits to each girl who attends my events so they can continue their tech journey at home and beyond.
“It is important for other girls to see a range of tech activities, opportunities, roles and events being enjoyed, organised, driven and normalised by someone just like them.”
Since the first Girls into Coding event in the summer of 2018, I have organised five others and have plans to develop even further. I am very passionate about these events and with the support from new partners, I will strive to engage even more girls with tech opportunities to help address the female under-representation in the sector.
As well as organising these events I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to deliver regular coding and tech workshops for CoderDojo at Kingston University; make robots and design my own kits; demo at tech events and provide learning opportunities.
I am also a GenArm2Z ambassador, currently working collaboratively with other ambassadors and Arm mentors.
I write blogs for my website (10tonolimit.com) where I talk about my workshops and other tech experiences. I think it is important for other girls to see a range of tech activities, opportunities, roles and events being enjoyed, organised, driven and normalised by someone just like them.
“It is important that we work together to create an environment where women & girls feel equally valued and have a sense of belonging in the world of STEM.“
Nonetheless, STEM is still a male-dominated area and we must all strive to change this. International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated to promote gender equality and empower women and girls to fully and equally participate in science. It is important that we work together to create an environment where women and girls feel equally valued and have a sense of belonging in the world of STEM.