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The Experiences of South-African High-School Girls in a Fab Lab Environment

Authors: Nomusa Dlodlo, Ronald Noel Beyers

Abstract:

This paper reports on an effort to address the issue of inequality in girls- and women-s access to science, engineering and technology (SET) education and careers through raising awareness on SET among secondary school girls in South Africa. Girls participated in hands-on high-tech rapid prototyping environment of a fabrication laboratory that was aimed at stimulating creativity and innovation as part of a Fab Kids initiative. The Fab Kids intervention is about creating a SET pipeline as part of the Young Engineers and Scientists of Africa Initiative.The methodology was based on a real world situation and a hands-on approach. In the process, participants acquired a number of skills including computer-aided design, research skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, technical drawing skills, writing skills and problem-solving skills. Exposure to technology enhanced the girls- confidence in being able to handle technology-related tasks.

Keywords: Girls, design engineering, gender, science, women.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1074645

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