MEST Women in Tech: MEST Graduates Launch STEMBees to Support STEM Education for Young African Women

by on Sunday, September 14th, 2014, filed under IdeasWomen in Tech

STEMbees is a non-profit organisation founded by software entrepreneurs and MEST 2014 alumnae, Angela Koranteng and Linda Ansong in response to the tremendous gender gap prevalent in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. STEMbees seeks to encourage and mentor more young African women to pursue their dreams and careers in STEM.

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“The Queen bee is the head of the bee colony and to us she represents leadership. The name STEMbees represents and emphasizes the importance of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We are raising girls to become leaders in the STEM fields (colonies), ” says Angela who obtained a degree in Civil Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology before attending MEST.

STEMbees’ ultimate goal is to improve the numbers of women pursuing STEM-related courses and working in STEM fields. This requires generating greater interest and excitement about the many opportunities in STEM through organized career fairs in high schools, camps, after-school clubs, and mentoring from STEM professionals.

“We were excited to hold our first STEM workshop with 30 smart, beautiful girls from the Korle-Gonno RC Girls Basic School in July. For 2 days, we made working instruments like pianos out of bananas, guitars out of cardboard and learned to type and use Microsoft’s Excel and Powerpoint. Our speakers, Ekua Odoom (Managing Director of the MEST training programme), and Anne Amuzu (CEO of Nandimobile) also inspired us all with their stories about working in the technology field,” says Linda Ansong, a co-founder of Vestracker (a shipping industry tracking solution currently in the MEST Incubator) who holds a degree in Actuarial Science also from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

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STEMbees’ initial target group includes girls between the ages of 11 to 15 (from Primary 6 to Junior High 2).  “We see these girls as STEM Ambassadors in their various institutions and they will help us to create more awareness on why STEM needs women and how fun it is having a STEM career,” adds Linda.

“STEMbees was founded at MEST and the organization has been a tremendous support to our efforts including providing the venue to host our launch event!”

 For more information about STEMbees and their mentorship and entrepreneurship programs, Sisters in STEM (SiSTEM) meetups and more, visit: stembees.org