STEM is FEM Story So Far
The Reface investor Sergey Tokarev created the initiative STEM is FEM in the fall of 2019 with the goal of destroying the stereotype that only men pursue in tech professions. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Sergey Tokarev perceived the idea of STEM is FEM by observing a serious gender imbalance in the Ukrainian IT sphere. In the initiative’s first year, seven educational modules were performed in which more than two hundred participants took part.
The initiative was joined by many large organizations: US and Finnish embassies in Ukraine, the UN office in Ukraine and its divisions – UNICEF and UN Women, the Goethe Institute in Ukraine, America House Kyiv, as well as Beetroot, GlobalLogic, BMW Ukraine were some of the partners of STEM is FEM. They joined Sergey Tokarev’s initiative to tackle the gender imbalance in STEM. Sergey Tokarev is delighted that many prominent partners joined him in his mission of breaking the gender stereotype.
Why is STEM is FEM Successful?
STEM is FEM has become successful in such a short period of time. The involvement of specialists from specialized industries and motivational speakers are the main reasons for their success. Sergey Tokarev acknowledges that technical skills are important for success, but motivation is the driving factor. Sergey Tokarev gave schoolgirls an opportunity to connect with successful ambassadors, ministers, and top managers. The meetup of the “present” and “future” was crucial for the initiative.
STEM is FEM conducted STEM-related educational modules, meetup events (inviting female scientists) workshops, and webinars on various topics. STEM is FEM partnered with the Goethe Institute to open the LitMINT youth reading club.
What Are the Girls Taught?
Providing Ukrainian schoolgirls with free educational STEM-related modules is STEM is FEM’s main activity. The project had conducted seven events for the girls in its first year. The girls got the chance to work with biotechnology, IT, ecology and energy, robotics, 3D modeling and printing, mechanical engineering, as well as construction and architecture.
Female speakers from STEM fields were invited by the project to boast the schoolgirls’ confidence to take up STEM fields as a profession in the future. The project assigned the girls with creative tasks on the relative topic and the girls’ reciprocated the project’s trust in them. They designed projects like disinfection robots, bike stations, social distancing benches, etc.
The project mostly conducted the modules in Kyiv. In those modules, the schoolgirls were able to meet with the industries’ experts and communicate with them freely. The COVID-19 pandemic forced some of the modules to be shifted virtually due to the quarantine restrictions, but they will continue after the restrictions are lifted.
Sergey Tokarev pointed that the project had arranged trips to aviation museum, the genetic laboratory, the hydrometeorological institute, the dispatch service of Kyiv Electric Networks, as well as GlobalLogic, Beetroot, and a BMW car showroom for the schoolgirls. Sergey Tokarev added that such trips will also be arranged in the future when the Coronavirus situation is under control.
Future of STEM is FEM?
The future of STEM is FEM is bright. They will continue to break the gender stereotype with full zeal. They are planning to introduce the schoolgirls to artificial intelligence, pharmacology, space, and many other areas of STEM in the upcoming year. The project’s next module will take place on December 12-13. The module will be dedicated to the agro-industry.