Programerka a ne štreberka

Federal ministry of culture and sports & Bit Center & American corner Tuzla & Laboratorium & AKM & Saranda & Kabil

Programerka a ne štreberka

JULY 1st, 2021 | LEJLA BAŠIĆ

It is clear that the data of very small number of engaged women in IT sector can be seen as a consequence of the lack of additional activities in STEM field for younger groups of girls. At the moment when girls decide to enroll in college, a large number of girls decide to enroll in the so-called "easier" faculties, due to the long-term influence of the society and family about stereotypes and prejudices about engineering professions being "men's" jobs. In addition, it is important to note that most girls have not had the opportunity to become familiar with the modern STEM activities such as science, programming, robotics and they do not have developet feelings of curiosity, creativity and the ability to solve the problems.
Based on the previous experience of working with female students of technical faculties, it has been shown that the large number of girls have low self-confidence, despite being excellent during their studies. We got the idea for this project after implementing a smaller project named "Explore new borders” where we held one-off 3 hour workshops wirh Lego robots in 3 different elementary schools. The positive experience from that project, such as the great interest of girls, served us as an inspiration for this project, where we wanted to correct the mistakes and provide the work with girls for a longer period.

General project goal

Project "Programerka, a ne štreberka!” as a goal has organizing and implementation of the summer school of programming and robotics for girls aged between 8 and 18 years. Projects is intended for two groups of girls: first group, represents the group of members of association "GirlTHing" which are also female students of technical faculties, with the goal of their strengthening and developing and promoting their IT and "soft skills"; and the second group, that is made of girls from elementary and high school in the area of City of Tuzla. The project is designed to be implemented in such a way so the female students become educators for the younger generations and by doing that, that the concept of STEM is brought closer to them, while younger girls from elementary and high school are being introduced to new technologies from a different angle compared to the traditional schooling.

Planned activities

The concept of summer schools proves to be justified for several reasons: girls have fun, socialize and study intensively during the school holidays, they have the opportunity to focus only on the project they are working on for five days, and the speed and the depth of learning is increased compared to the school year because other school and extracurricular activities are minimized. Priority areas that are being covered by project are computer using, where the female students and girls will have the opportunity to get familiar with working with computers as well as the different tools that are necessary for programming of devices and robots; programming in different programming languages in order for them to implement the functionalities of different devices and also "soft-skills", which are necessary for educators, such as presentation skills, teamwork, education of others and experience exchange.

Activities that we are plannning to implement in this project are related to organisation and implementation of the two-week summer school. During the first week, girls from high school will have the opportunity to get familiar with Arduino devices within the task of creating intelligent and fun solutions (such as a smart antibacterial hand gel sprayer). Educators will be female students from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Tuzla, who have the previous experience with Arduino devices, and who will design and implement the mentioned activities. During the second week, girls from elementary schools will have the opportunity to work with LEGO robots as well as with the micro:bit devices in order to programm and solve interesting challenges.

It is important to mention that the large number of elementary and high schools in the region od City of Tuzla does not work with robots and small devices during the school year, and the additional educations in STEM areas are available but the parents must pay a large amount of money in order for their children can get those educations. Considering that the change of study program is a long-term process, by supporting this kind of project, it benefits the development of young girls aged between 8 and 24 years, where the girls - students of faculties are also included. Association of Young Women "GirlTHing" has as its main goal to support and empower women of all ages to deal with the information technologies. A large number of our members are female students on different technical faculties who, through previous projects, have further improved and developed their programming and presentation skills, which has helped them with employment and further development of their IT careers. Our association has so far implemented 4 projects where our main target groups were young girls, and we believe that projects such as programming summer school for girls will be of great importance for the development and promotion of policy towards young people in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Duration of the project

From July 1st 2021 till September 30th 2021.