Sophie, our May g4g girl !

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Hello everyone, my name is Sophie and I am the g4g girl for the month of May!

I'm currently studying for a PhD in Tropical Medicine at the Liverpool School of Medicine. I obtained a BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Sheffield in 2014. Following this, whilst studying for a Masters in Immunology from Imperial College London, I undertook a 7-month research project with the Tuberculosis Research Centre, Imperial College London. Following a year as a research assistant at The University of Oxford, I started at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In my spare time I enjoy ballet, rowing, bouldering and mountaineering. I’m a mentor for The Girl’s Network and a greenlight for girls ambassador.

 

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I joined g4g to try and encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM subjects. Indeed, I love STEM! I am particularly passionate about infectious diseases and global health. As a scientist I am concerned by the disparity in health care across the globe. I believe everyone has the right to access better diagnostics and treatments for the improvement of global health. Pursuing a career in tropical medicine allows me to try and improve a small part of this disparity in collaboration with a team of doctors and scientists. I enjoy working as part of a team. Science also gives me the opportunity to travel, with frequent travel to India for my PhD. 

 

STEM helps us understand how things work. STEM gives us the ability to identify something we think could be improved and allows us to be innovative and creative to try to make something better.  For these reasons, I believe we should encourage, everyone, to be more curious about STEM!

April 2019 for g4g ; from the UK to the US, with sodium bicarbonate and VR

April 2019 was a very exciting and thrilling month for g4g! For once, we were not travelling to every continent all at once, so we managed to take the time to properly welcome new team members, to try a few new workshops, to plan some fun and nice video projects, and to reach out and meet with potential new partners... We have so much exciting news!

But first, what events did we host this month?

 

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On April 3rd, Indra and Alex went to the UK, for our first g4g @work in Croydon with AIG. 30 girls aged 11-15, joined us and experienced the fun hands-on workshops we had in stock for them! They explored VR and vertigo at the same time while walking along the edge of the building, became true codebreakers, learned about the speed of light using chocolate, experienced forces and design-thinking using bicarbonate chemistry engineering, extracted their own DNA and made science jewelry out of it… in a nutshell, they experienced a true g4g event! A big thanks to all the 20 volunteers who joined us for this day of science fun!

 

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On April 6th, Sarah, our amazing Board member, hosted the 4th g4g Day @BSU In Bridgewater, Massachusetts… What a day! 150 girls joined us and explored fun STEM-related workshops, conceived by all the amazing volunteers came to help us. What did they do? So much! First, they were welcomed by Dr. Jenna Mendell who gave a very inspiring keynote speech and encouraged future research scientists. Then, girls discovered engineering through 3d design, they built robots, learnt all the secrets behind aviation, saponification, extreme weather, and our organs, they experienced with waves and physics with the wonderful Physics for show, they learnt about the ropes of environmental engineering, they traveled to the moon (with our “craters’ secrets” workshops) and back (thanks to the Earthview workshop)…! A massive thanks to Bridgewater State University, the Center for Advancement of STEM Education of BSU and all the wonderful volunteers, teachers and students who made this day possible!

 

In addition to our traditional events, we also joined this year’s Arch Summit, happening on April 4 & 5 in Luxembourg. The goal of such summit is to ease the connection and create communication and links between start-ups and companies in the tech world. Tech world? Well, we wouldn’t miss that for the world! So Marie packed her bag, the g4g roll-up banner, a few daisies and headed to Luxembourg to make sure that such event would not miss all the fun g4g could bring to it! After a thrilling pitch presenting g4g, and in-between teaching all the chemistry of bath bombs, she had the great opportunity to meet Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 2011. Together, they discussed about the importance of education for girls, and started to think about g4g events in Liberia. We are all so enthusiastic about this idea and potential events with the Gbowee foundation, and we hope we will find all the resources needed to make it happen! Meanwhile, enjoy these couple of photos taken at the event! 

Indra, our April g4g girl!

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Hello everyone, I am Indra, I am a Projects & Events Coordinator at g4g!

I am quite new at greenlight for girls, since I first heard of the organization in January 2019, while coming across an unexpected job post. I was intrigued right away! The post differentiated by a light, open and approachable tone, and I have always been interested in gender studies and passionate about activities that raise gender equality and equity through increasing access opportunities to education. It is something I will always be engaged in and g4g’s open space was a great backdrop to realize this ambition.

Meeting the team personally, seeing its collaborative and collegial working environment paired with a passion to create truly engaging education activities for girls and young women, inspiring them to discover their potentials, immediately convinced me.

My engagement with g4g is just kicking off and up to this point experiences have been very rewarding – seeing a direct and clearly felt impact we are making on the girls at every step and event on the way, is priceless. The collaboration with countless volunteers, partners and the g4g community at large, has been impressive and a driving force behind creating events that bring everyday science and the people behind it to life.   

 

My interest in science

Science is in everything we see, touch or do – permeating even the most mundane tasks and actions of daily life. To me an interest in science ultimately sparks an interest in being an explorer of all things that are life. Understanding the world around us creates lively and open mind sets.

Those kind of open mindsets, I personally hope, will increasingly consider those pressing sustainability and social challenges our current and future generations are facing.  

 

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Girls & STEM…

It's a simple equation for me: I believe more girls in STEM equals more young women with the potential to be
change-makers, leading to more women actually working at the forefront of global challenges.

g4g is there to bridge the gap and raise girls in STEM. Proving that ‘Science is a girls thing’!
In this sense, the project inspires them to discover their potentials, installs confidence, and importantly empowers them to beat stereotypes!

 

Participating to our g4g events

It is tradition at every event, community outreach or gathering for the kids/girls to decorate their lab coats, with with whatever symbols, statements, pictures they find inspiring. The creativity and talent girls express on these lab coats as their canvass is outstanding and proves how Arts and STEM are far from exclusive.

At first my own lab coat was plain, white, empty, maybe sterile – the girls were there to change all that – ready to help me decorate. The first color my coat received was the sentence: ‘Girl Power’ – so simple, yet very meaningful. Moving through the room and seeing how a simple piece of ‘clothing’ transformed at the hands of the girls, more and more into a colorful artifact of meaning, hopes and ambitions, showed exactly the creational force that is science.

 Also, as a Social Entrepreneurship enthusiast, I believe the secret ingredient in g4g events is that they actually engage girls to Co-create their science experience!
They have the unique chance to take ownership of what they are learning, creating and experimenting with – which has a lasting effect on their ambitions and perception of potentials.

  

My personal message for the greenlight girls around the world

Always remember, that neither how we are born nor who we are told to be, can stop us from being true explorers, experiencers, experimenters and discovers of our own life, dreams and the world.

Our g4g March

Aww March. March is always a nice month for us, at g4g.

It starts with a day when all women of the world unite and claim their rights. As you may know, this year’s theme for the International Women’s Day, was “Balance”, because indeed, “A balanced world is a better world”.

For us, we celebrated women’s achievement through promoting loads of beautiful projects around the world initiated by women ; we raised awareness against bias through an event in Spain with a new partner ; we thanked all the amazing role models who helped us this past year…

 
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 And then, daisies blossomed, temperatures rose, and we knew that Spring was just around the corner, just in time to help us sow our beautiful events around the world!

This 2019, March was quite full on with new events and opportunities. We started on March 6, by hosting our first g4g @work in Brussels with Solvay! Thanks to our amazing partners of the day, Solvay and XperiLab, 50 girls joined us and experimented with our 4 fun and interactive workshops. They discovered all the secrets of Sodium bicarbonate, explored the XperiLab Bus, tackled statistics with m&m’s and had an amazing tour of the Labs around Batteries and Reverse Engineering.

The sentence we heard and loved the most during this day? “Wow, so working in a lab is also a real job, not just what we see in movies?!”…

We finished the day with the amazing and encouraging words of Brigitte Laurent, Solvay’s Head of Diversity & Inclusion: “We need you in the future, great scientists to help us find solutions to the challenges of our planet”. We can’t wait to see what they will come up with!

Have a look at our video below to see more about the event!

 
 

 Then, we decided to celebrate the International Women’s Day a day early, and headed out to Barcelona for our first g4g @work with Nestlé !

30 girls came and had the amazing opportunity to explore chocolate madness at the experimental kitchen, had fun with the Kahoot activity at the digital hub, were amazed by all the wonderful volunteers’ scientists who came and were brilliant role models to the girls, met a dog celebrity (yes you read that correctly) … and so much more!


On March 9, we were thrilled to host our new g4g Day @Mexico with Cisco! 170 girls came along, and helped by 70 wonderful volunteers, with 10 fun and interactive STEM workshops. The girls discovered all the fun in robots, enjoyed and laughed with the Lego Serious Play, were amazed by the Satellite Magic, competed during techy videogames, collaborated during the Hour of code… and so much more!

The most beautiful part of the day was definitely witnessing the support and help, girls gave to each other during the mandala yoga. We are ONE!


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After a couple of weeks without any events, the end of the month was full steam ahead. On March 27, we first rode to the UK for our first g4g Day @Birmingham with Covestro, at the ThinkTank Museum. What an exciting day! 100 girls from the local community came, explore the museum and dived into fun and hands-on workshops. They discovered polymer worms thanks to our chemist of the day, Daniela, had fun building scribblebot with Melissa and Marie, interacted with a robot, solved a jewelry thief thanks to forensics and explored through the whole museum!

 


A day later, on March 28th, you could find us in Idstein, Germany as we participated in the 9th year of Stanley Black and Decker’s Girls Day and Boys Day celebration at their premises. Stanley Black & Decker welcomed a special group of 18 girls and boys aged 11 to 13 for a unique morning of exploring science, technology, electrical engineering, business design, as well as being inspired by SBD role-models in these fields. And, of course, everyone went home with their own DNA necklace, g4g style!

Cleopatra, our March g4g girl!

This month, meet Cleopatra, 17 years old living in The Cameroons and one of our most engaged ambassadors on our social media! She is not only wonderful to interact with on Facebook, she can also develop apps and websites and was one of the finalists and winners for the Google Code-in contest 2017 and 2018!

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Hi! I’m Cleopatra, a 12th grade high school student. I’m a 17 years old Cameroonian.

 

How it all began?

The spark for STEM came from a young age. I vividly recall taking apart electronics, curious to see what makes them work. Being a food fan, I was impressed by food science and wondered about their organic makeup. When I came to the Lower Sixth form (equivalent of Grade 11), I had to pick 3 – 5 subjects among many. Subjects relevant to my interests and career goals. Without thinking much, my first choice was Chemistry. Physics, Mathematics, Biology and Computer Science added to the list later on.

 

How far have I come?

Although I’ve always been interested in STEM, I began to take it seriously about 2 years ago. In 2016, a woman came to my school and introduced the Technovation Challenge. At that time, I had never heard of this contest which challenged young girls to create a mobile app, business plan and stand a chance to win amazing prices. I formed a team with 3 other girls and created an app. We didn’t come close to winning but it was an amazing learning experience.

Inspired by this contest, I learnt how to code and spent my free time learning Web and Android App development and other digital skills. My efforts paid off when I later emerged one of the finalists and winners for the Google Code-in contest 2017 and 2018 sessions respectively.

Towards the end of 2018, I submitted an entry for the Google Science Fair, a science/engineering contest for teens. My biochemical project concerned minimizing food waste. This project was another learning experience on research, experimentation/testing and the scientific method. With the start of the 2019 new year, I came across greenlight for girls and sought ways to get involved. An ambassadorship position seemed exciting and I immediately applied.

 

What next?

Depending on how things work out, I’m expecting to be in university next year. As of now, I’m still torn between majoring in Computer Science or in Biochemistry/Natural Sciences. Hopefully, I can do a double degree/major.

As a winner of the google contest in 2018, Cleopatra wanted to encourage all girls to participate in STEM challenges, so she gathered some info for you!

Technovation Challenge: This challenge was born to engage more girls in the computing domain. Research showed that by 2025, women will only hold 25% of computing jobs. The Technovation Challenge hopes to increase this percentage. Young girls, aged 10 to 18 are invited to create an app which addresses a problem in their community. Both in the junior (10-14) and senior (14-18) divisions, finalists and their mentors stand the chance to win a fully-funded trip to attend the finals in the US. Overall winners in each division get up to $10000. The challenge normally runs from December to April.

EngineerGirl Writing Contest: If you have a penchant for writing, as well as an interest in Engineering, this is the contest for you. The competition is annual, and the themes vary per year. The 2019 session asked girls aged 13 to 18 to write a story depicting a female solving a problem or saving the day using engineering design. Winners stand the chance to win up to $500.

1000 Girls, 1000 Futures: This is an opportunity organized by New York Academy of Sciences, where young girls aged 13 to 18 are paired with an older and more experienced woman in a STEM field (a mentor). Girls learn about leadership, community and education, all relating to STEM. In addition, “Girls of the Month” win cool prizes, some of which may include trips to conferences/seminars.

Code Jam to I/O for Women: If you’re above 16 years of age and like solving algorithmic problems using code, this is the challenge for you. Google I/O is an annual conference organized by Google for tech enthusiasts. Tickets are rather expensive and cost over $1000. With Code Jam to I/O for Women, the top 150 female participants will win a ticket to the conference as well as travel reimbursements. Not an opportunity to be missed, if you want to attend the biggest tech event of the year.

Our g4g winter !

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In December we were back in India with Covestro for the last two events of our STEM Festival! First, we hosted an event in Goa on December 4 and 5, welcoming more than 400 girls. Then, on December 14 and 15 we went to Nagpur to meet more than 350 girls. We taught workshops in several languages and showed the girls how STEM is part of their everyday lives.

To read everything we have done with Covestro in India, click here!

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On December 8, we joined forces with Stanley Black & Decker for our first g4g @work in Damparis, France! 30 kids got the opportunity to come to the SBD premises in Damparis and explore fun, interactive workshops. They unlocked their creativity while making their own sculptures using chocolate, they were amazed when they managed to extract their own DNA, they enjoyed learning about circuitry while building their own drawing robots, and they had lots of fun testing both their own strength… and that of the SBD tools! A massive thanks to the wonderful welcoming teams of SBD and to the 10 volunteers of the day!

Check out the facebook album of the day here!

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On December 12, we were thrilled to host our first g4g @work in Madrid with Nokia! We welcomed 100 curious girls aged 10-15 and had a blast exploring all the fun aspects of STEM. The big hits of the day? Crafting their own explosive bath bombs, learning about plasma physics and fruit batteries, being amazed by Nokia technologies and competing at Pictionary… in Virtual Reality! What an amazing experience! A massive thanks to our guest speakers of the day, Francisco Polo, State Secretary for the digital matters and Alicia Richart, General Director of digitalES, and to all the 40 volunteers for helping this day come to life!

Have a look at all our photos here!

On December 15 we hosted our last Makerspace of the year in our lovely atelier in Brussels. We made the most out of innovation, smart homes, and… delicious ingredients! Each of our 20 students of the day had the chance to make their own edible home, full of sustainability inventions and creative thinking. Browse through our photos on the left!

Finally, we kicked-off 2019 by presenting STEM activities to the British Junior Academy of Brussels on January 10 and 11 in front of 80+ kids for their STEM week. Lava lamps, polymer worms, elephant toothpaste, magic milk, DNA experiments, bath bombs… all of which were quite popular with these curious minds and eyes!