U.S. Embassy, UN Foundation’s Girl Up hold Women in Science Camp in PHL

Davao campers at the American Corner mural at Ateneo de Davao University

On July 9, the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines and Girl Up, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation, concluded the Women in Science (WiSci), Technology, Engineering, Arts & Design, Mathematics (STEAM) Camp held at American Corners Bacolod, Batac, and Davao.

Thirty young Filipino women joined 70 campers across the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia for the six-day program composed of STEAM skills training, design thinking, prototyping, robotics, leadership development, and mentorship from U.S.-based scientists, technologists, and tech experts.  Campers learned from each other across cultures, participated in team building exercises, and presented STEM projects that provide solutions to social issues.

Girl Up will be selecting WiSci campers or counselors for monetary project awards to help them bring their STEM projects to life in their communities.

“Last year, the United States took historic steps to bridge the gender divide by launching the first National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.  Launching the WiSci STEAM camp with our colleagues from the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign is one step toward fulfilling the Gender Strategy and supporting the attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goal Five: achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls,” said U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava.

Bacolod campers during the pitching session

“We know the power of female leadership, and the importance of closing the gender gap across STEAM fields.  Girl Up is so proud to be part of WiSci Southeast Asia, helping girls build their skills and explore STEAM careers,” said Girl Up Executive Director Melissa Kilby.

Since 2015, WiSci Camps have been made possible through private-public partnerships between Girl Up and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, Intel, Google, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and other local partners such as American Corners supported by U.S. embassies.

In the Philippines, WiSci is implemented by American Corners located at Ateneo de Davao University, Mariano Marcos State University, and University of St. La Salle.  To date, WiSci Camps have trained more than 1,000 girls from 35 countries around the world.

Learn more about WiSci at https://girlup.org/programs/wisci.  For more information about the U.S. Embassy’s American Corners and its free programs, visit https://americanspacesph.org.