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STEM program for egyptian girls opens minds and opportunities

2 min read | may 24, 2023

Dozens of Egyptian teens participated in a STEM program sponsored by Chevron.

Growing up in Egypt, Magda Fahmy loved disassembling household items, checking out what was inside and then putting the items back together.

A Chevron-sponsored science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program for girls in Egypt helped take that curiosity further.

Magda was among the participants of the Girls Make summer program led by tech incubator San3a Tech, a nonprofit launched in 2016 to empower young people living in the Middle East and North Africa.

“The program gave me the ability to express ideas, share them with other people and communicate them on a different level,” said Magda. “This is something that will benefit me in the long term.”

why it matters

Programs like Girls Make could help close the STEM gender gap by giving girls like Magda the skills and confidence to pursue related studies.

San3a Tech had been planning to launch a STEM program for Egyptian girls for five years but, until recently, lacked the necessary funding.

investing in the future

Last year, Chevron sponsored San3a Tech’s first Girls Make summer innovation program, empowering dozens of teens to pursue their interests in STEM subjects.

By the time the 10-week program was through, participants knew how to code, program, design and build prototypes of solutions to problems they see each day.

Magda, who is in grade 12, used her newly developed coding skills to create a smart cane for blind people, complete with a sensor that signals when another person enters the room and another that can detect obstacles.

The girls who took part in the program were selected from more than 800 applicants.

To participate, some spent 90 minutes commuting each way, using multiple forms of transportation.

“When I was younger, I had the desire to help people with disabilities. Now I feel like I have the skills to do so.”

magda fahmy

girls make participant

Other projects created by Girls Make students included:

  • An electric beach cleaner
  • Solutions for water conservation
  • A mechanism to prevent fatalities at railway crossings

“It isn’t just about the 48 girls who participated,” said Reem Moharam, a Chevron Egypt-based office manager. “It’s about exposing young girls in public schools to STEM in a fun, tangible way, which may not be part of the traditional education system. It exposes girls to think outside the box, develop dexterity and learn about ideation, innovation and courage to develop innovative solutions to problems.”

a promising program

San3a Tech was launched by young Egyptians to empower the “maker movement” in the region. Girls Make is the first collaboration between Chevron and San3a Tech.

Learn more about other Chevron initiatives in the corporate sustainability report.

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