‘Bats & Bots’ workshop to promote STEM for children

Updated on

NGO MissInTech will hold its “Bats & Bots” Halloween-themed workshop for girls and boys aged between six and 13 to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through different activities, according to a press statement sent to Business Malta. The workshop will be held at Maltese telco Melita’s offices in Mriehel on 26 October.

The eight volunteers of MissInTech are joined by Melita, providing connectivity and logistical support to the group’s workshops, as well as other activities which promote science to both girls and boys, according to the press statement.

Melita has worked for the last years with the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) and has been certified with the Equality Mark Certification, which the telco has held since its introduction in 2010, according to a statement sent to BM.

MissInTech, an NGO seeking to bridge the gender gap in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, was founded by women during their ICT university studies in 2016.

The organisation has held seven workshops centred around a particular theme each to help get and retain the attention of the participating 20-25 children.

“It’s a magical moment every time a child uses robots for the first time. When they realise that they are the ones making the robot interact in the way they want it to, they are always incredibly proud of themselves. We look forward to creating more magical moments like these through which we are also helping young girls and boys fall in love with science and technology,” said Rowena Chappell of MissInTech.

Further information on the upcoming workshop, as well as the work of the organisation, can be found on MissInTech’s Facebook page.

Europe-wide, four times more men pursue ICT-related studies than women, according to a 2018 study by the European Commission. As a more worrisome figure, the number of women taking up ICT-related higher education had been dropping since 2011, the EC study found.

The share of men working in the digital sector is 3.1 times bigger than the share of women, the EC study found, while the European economy’s productivity loses approximately €16.2b a year due to women leaving their digital jobs to become inactive.

The 2018 EC study also found that despite women-run startups showing more likelihood to grow into successful businesses, women participation in leadership and investment in the entrepreneurial digital sector had been on the decrease.

“Data trends and qualitative analysis suggest that gender inequality in the digital sphere is essentially a result of the persistence of strong unconscious biases about what is appropriate and what capacities each gender has, as well as about the technologies themselves which require a fundamental cultural change,” the summary of the EC study says.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The present story has been updated with information about Melita’s collaboration with the NCPE.