The 3M Girls Can Tinker program is a science outreach program for underprivileged girls by 3M and Science Centre Singapore. The event aims to inspire more girls to join the next generation of scientists and engineers in STEM.
theAsianparent had an opportunity to interview significant people behind this promising program for young girls. Mr Kevin McGuigan is the vice president and managing director of 3M Singapore. Mr McGuigan is also one of the 3M South-East Asia Region and Country Leaders. Present also in the interview is Dr Lee Song Choon, the director of KidsSTOP and Events and Engagement, Science Centre Singapore (SCS).
In this article, you’ll read:
- 3M Girls Can Tinker Program
- Improving Stem Equity for Underprivileged Societies
3M Girls Can Tinker Program
The global science company collaborates with the Science Centre Singapore (SCS) in launching the 3M Girls Can Tinker Program. It is a year-long science outreach program that will feature a series of art- and science-themed tinkering workshops.
They will be holding science and art-themed workshops for girls to learn about science through place, exploration, and experimentation. It also aims to benefit and increase female representation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The primary target participants for the event are young girls ages 5 to 16 years old. They will have an opportunity to rebuild a neighbourhood experiencing a power outage using limited resources at the workshop. It will be entitled “STEAM Playshop: Light Up the Village.”
During the workshop, girls will be introduced to simple electric circuits to help light up the village. The learning process also includes Light-Emitting Diode (LED), Electroluminescent Light (EL Light) and other tools.
Unleashing the Creativity of Young Girls
According to Dr Lee Song Choon, “Older kids aged 10- to 16-years will have a chance to unleash their creativity.”
They could maximise their creativity at the woodworking workshops. Aside from that, they can also build a remote-controlled car by just using wood.
In addition, the program aims to encourage further learning beyond the classroom. In the said program, participants will be given a parent-child take-home kit. It will be a Playshop Diary, which they can use to document their learning and be awarded a certificate.
Promoting Women in the Field of Science, Engineering, and STEM
Mr Kevin McGuigan emphasises the improvements in female representation in the STEM field over the past few years. However, there are still fewer women than men in most STEM industries in Singapore.
“Having a diverse and inclusive workforce empowers us at 3M to continually think out of the box and innovate.”
Along with this, they aim to encourage and inspire the next generation of diverse STEM talent. Additionally, they believe that interest in STEM starts with access to good education.
The program’s ultimate goal is to utilise these workshops to spark girls’ interest in STEM. It also hopes to help females build their confidence in these subjects. Furthermore, they crafted classes to inspire them to pursue studies and careers in these fields.
“We should work hand-in-hand with our public and private organisations,” said Dr Lee. “To encourage more women to be represented in the STEM fields.”
Improving Stem Equity for Underprivileged Societies with 3M Girls Can Tinker Program
“Science is incredibly invaluable,” said Mr McGuigan.
Moreover, they also believe that science can make lives easier, better, and more complete. They also have faith that science exploration and scientific process teaches young people some essential mindset:
“Skills and abilities can be developed over time through perseverance and learning from wrong things,” said Mr McGuigan.
Along with this, he added that this mindset could help us inside and outside of the classroom or lab. It also creates resilience and a passion for learning essential to success in life.
Increasing STEM equity for underprivileged and underrepresented communities is essential. The program will allow young women from low-income families to access high-quality STEM educational initiatives.
Furthermore, one of the goals of the 3M Girls Can Tinker program is to strengthen access to quality STEM education. They also aim to level the playing field for underprivileged communities.
Dr Lee suggests addressing the issues of gender equity in STEM sectors. It is crucial to further innovation and better represent the needs of society. It will also be helpful as Singapore pushes forward on its smart nation ambition.
The Ultimate Goal of 3M Girls Can Tinker Program
The 3M Girls Can tinker Program is an initiative that aims to inspire the next generation of diverse scientists and engineers. Initiatives like 3MGirls Can Tinker help bridge the gap between need and opportunity.
It is essential to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. However, we still need more work to encourage and inspire women and girls to join STEM.
Children will learn more when they are having fun. Concerning this, applied learning can effectively tickle their interest and aptitude in STEM.
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