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FemEng is a student-led female engineering society that aims to inspire, support and empower women in engineering. International projects are one of the main initiatives each year, with previous projects in Rwanda, Malawi, and Kenya.
Looking to continue and build upon the success of previous projects, FemEng in Botswana will see a team of 8 Glasgow University students travel to Botswana to partner with a group of female STEM students from the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education. Working with partner students to achieve common goals, the team will be delivering a range of skill-based workshops to schools in the community while encouraging women and younger students to pursue an interest and eventually a career in STEM.
Meet the team below:
Previous international projects have successfully reached over 3000 students. The team will continue to conduct engineering workshops this year in Botswana, designed to give students an insight into different branches of engineering and the number of opportunities available in the STEM field. Introductions to aerospace, electrical, civil, robotics, mechanical and sustainable engineering will be given, with carefully designed activities and games to create well-developed and engaging taster sessions to the world of engineering.
The project will also include industry visits to local engineering companies, enabling partner students to gain industry experience and establish contacts and connections for their future. Previously, FemEng teams have also provided guidance and support to partner students to enable them to set up a female engineering society at their university, like FemEng, with the same objective to empower women in engineering. In the trip to Botswana, the team hopes to do the same and to continue globalising female empowerment in engineering.
The project is focused on the local communities and provides the opportunity to open doors for potential career paths, projects, and engineering opportunities for students. Ensuring that the projects are tailored for each school appropriately, contacts in Botswana have provided great support in building this project. Eunice Hanna, who was awarded a University of Glasgow World Changing Alumni Award in 2019 and is currently a TVET Lecturer at the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education, has greatly supported communication and planning. Eunice is also the Managing Director at Digital Learning Academy with competency-based training courses including Fundamentals of Climate Change and Basics of Solar PV Installations. A second key contact in the country is Robert Hanna, a Director at Sustainable Energy Botswana. SEB has recently won the first commercial IPP in Botswana, where a 6-9Mw solar power plant will be constructed for the University of Botswana this year. A key deliverable is to spread the word of the ongoing engineering projects in Botswana and the current opportunities available in the country while encouraging women to get involved in such exciting projects through potential STEM careers.
As well as benefitting local communities in Botswana, University of Glasgow FemEng students will benefit from the opportunity to travel abroad as part of an international team project, furthering their academic experience by volunteering to inspire young people and provide them with an insight into engineering.
The team values the support from RS Grassroots greatly; by supplying electrical equipment and workshop materials, the team are able to craft interesting engineering activities which will be a great way to show students the exciting world of STEM and applications through fun activities. The team will be updating DesignSpark about the project, the workshops, and the trip in general, so keep an eye out for more articles in the future.
Meet the team travelling to Botswana this summer here and follow FemEng In Botswana socials to keep up to date with the project.