HUAWEI Technologies donating laptops and digital skills book to the participating schools

Karatina University celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGIS) on Saturday, 11th February 2023 at St. Faustina Kerugoya Girls High School in Kirinyaga County. Together with HUAWEI Technologies, more than 1500 girls from the School and five other neighboring schools were mentored by women in science from Karatina HUAWEI Technologies donating laptops and digital skills book to the participating schools

University and other institutions. The event was organized by the Karatina University International Women’s Day Committee chaired by Prof. Juliet Macharia.

Prof. Macharia stated that there are less than 30 percent of women in science; an issue which needs to be urgently addressed in order to raise it to at least 40 percent.

The keynote speech was delivered by Eng. Maureen Mwaniki, the Vice Director, Programs Management Organizations and Director for Women in Technology, Huawei Technology Company Limited. She shared on what she would have loved mentors to tell her while in high school. Some of these are; nothing but the very best, do a lot of reading, study, be consistent, self-awareness, take time to know who you are, be unapologetically you, what you envision is what you become, the time is now, listen more, speak less, start from the bottom up, take time to grow. Take one step at a time. Huawei Technologies donated some basic digital skills books and laptops to aid them in learning.

Other topics ranged from Innovation in Medicine delivered by Dr. Hellen Nabiswa, a Physician and Diabetologist and Social Media Health Educator Consultant at Kenyatta National Hospital. She encouraged the students to think about innovation in order to fit in the current world. Dr. Nabiswa manages social media pages where she provides information about diabetes to her patients. Speaking on ‘The Sky is no the Limit but the Beginning’, Dr. Grace Muriithi, section head of Chemistry in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences at Karatina University urged the students to believe in their ability, be their own persons by not following crowds, getting a mentor and learning from them while also remembering God in all they do and letting Him guide their footsteps.

Dr. Susan Mambo, a Public Health Specialist and Chairperson, Department of Environmental Health and Disease Control, JKUAT and an Alumni of Kerugoya Girls shared her life journey in Health Science. She informed the students that their mindset is the most important strength they have. She encouraged them to focus and change their mindsets concerning science courses. ‘You define what you want in life. Nobody else can do that. Follow your passion. Yes, you can,’ she stated.  In an eye-opening address by Dr. Margaret Kinyua, a Lecturer in Mathematics and Programme Coordinator of Bachelor of Science in Applied Statistics with Computing and Actuarial Science, Karatina University and an Alumni of Kerugoya Girls, she expounded on Mathematics as a Language.

‘Every field has its own terminologies. You have to understand the language of mathematics. It is a universal language since the terminologies are uniform all over the world.’ She stated that Mathematics enhances the logical and creative thinking of a learner. Therefore, it was important to know where the process of mathematics starts and where it ends.

‘What do you yourself say about mathematics? Do not listen to what others say. Create your own story. Learn to communicate in the language of mathematics. Think mathematics. Speak mathematics. Do mathematics,’ she concluded.

Dr. Rose Nyambura, a Science Teacher Educator, Patron of Young Women in Science in Developing Countries-Laikipia University and an Alumni of Kerugoya Girls spoke on her lived experience and journey in science.  She stated that it was important for women to be in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields because opportunities in STEM are evolving.

‘Chances in STEM open very many careers. Do not be afraid of them’.

Dr. Nyambura shared with the students the following nuggets of wisdom; Celebrate women in science. Find out what Kenyan women have done in science. Take advantage of mentorship activities brought to you. Know yourself and pursue your dream. Be obedient and disciplined. Arise and shine for your light has come. Leave a mark and not an impression. Connect with women in the fields that you are interested in. Work hand in hand with the male folk.

Ms. Lucy Wanjiku Mbugua, a Systems Engineer at CISCO Systems and an Alumni of Kerugoya Girls spoke on ‘The Next Generation Systems Engineer’. Ms. Mbugua outlined the trends and opportunities in the market today that span across many careers in STEM. These are Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Data Science, Automation, Scripting, Programming and Coding.