The STEM for girls program is a holistic curriculum aimed at equipping high school students with skills for digital literacy, coding, career development, and the agency and knowledge to choose careers in STEM fields. The curriculum is designed as self paced learning modules. The curriculum takes the learners through concepts of Self, Gender, Career exploration, Careers STEM and Coding
Objective of Collaboration
Create opportunities for girls across the country to access a holistic STEM curriculum in a bid to encourage more girls to take up careers in the field of STEM.
Create engaging atomized content with a focus on learning through activities, real life stories and reflection.
Designing relatable and accessible content for self paced learning that will inspire students to explore varied careers options.
Make subjects such as gender, sex, sexuality, stereotypes and biases more accessible and approachable by using narratives and storytelling.
The five modules were designed using a narrative approach using a lot of stories and real life examples. Each lesson in the modules has a main concept that is explained through a story and this is followed by an activity to reinforce the concept learnt.
At the end of lessons there are some reflection questions for the learners and they are encouraged to jot their reflections in their journal/notebook. The curriculum is designed in a way to provide opportunities for exposure and access to careers related to STEM.
Though the curriculum is not designed to be consumed in any specific order it would be ideal if students started with the first module on Self and moved to gender followed by career exploration, STEM careers and coding.
Through all the modules there is a “Sutradhar” voice that guides the learners through the lessons and activities. Currently the content is available in three languages English, Hindi, and Kannada.
Aspects of Learning
The IBM SFG curriculum focuses on ensuring all the learners regardless of gender, examine opportunities and challenges present in pursuing STEM careers and recognise and challenge norms. The module on Self is intended to discuss different aspects of self, self-identity, various factors that influence self. The aim of the module is to help the learners examine and reflect and identify their beliefs, mindsets, values and biases.
The module on Career Exploration intends to help the learners understand what it means to have a career, how a career path can vary with situations and from person-to-person, what influences the world of work and how one can plan for a career. The aim of the module is to help learners become aware of what it means to explore a career path and the ways to do the same
The module on coding intends to introduce the world of coding and its pathways to the learners. In this module, the learners understand what coding is and the process it involves . They also learn about the problem solving process/design thinking process. An important aspect of this module is learning about coding for social good and bias in the realm of coding.
The module on Gender, is for learners to understand in detail what the terms gender, sex and sexuality mean. The aim is to help the learner examine the role gender stereotypes play in influencing perception, choices and aspirations. It also aims to understand the interconnections between gender, Science and technology
The module on STEM career is intended to help the learners understand what is a STEM mindset and how to develop a STEM mindset as a way of life. The aim of the module is to help the learners become conscious of the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to make STEM mindest a way of life.
Process of Implementation
A user preference research was done and also spoke to the facilitators of the STEM for girls program. Their insights and insights from our user preference study was incorporated in designing the learning centric curriculum interspersed with activities, and real life stories for easy relatability.
The curriculum was done in a phased manner. The language and examples used through the curriculum is kept simple and engaging.
The illustrations conveys the story and the concept as much as the content. Both the illustrations and the text complement each other to give the learner’s an engaging learning experience.
The lessons have voice overs as per our insight from our user perferencance study.
The users of the content were students in rural and semi-urban schools. Due to the COVID protocol, we couldn't be on the field and conduct an ethnographic study of our users. Nevertheless, we conducted the study online in 3 parts :
Preliminary study of the audience preferences
Testing sample content with a small sample size
Pilot 1 with 120 students across the country
The project is live and the program is being implemented by Quest Alliance in multiple states.