The Womandla Foundation will be hosting the third hybrid Women in STEAM Awards on Saturday 27th August 2022 at the MANCOSA Learning Centre, Cape Town.
The host for the Women in STEAM awards is Zimi Mabunzi, Miss South Africa 2021 runner-up and Brand South Africa ambassador. Mabunzi, is fully invested in the development of the African girl child. She makes an intentional effort to ensure that she makes use of the opportunities at her disposal, both for herself and others too.
The Womandla Women in STEAM Award winners will be announced at 9am on the 27th of August 2022 at the hybrid award ceremony. This will take place at the MANCOSA Learning Centre, 10 Mill Street Newlands, Cape Town 7700.
The Awards shines light on the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as arts in STEM, recognises excellence among those who strive to make a positive difference in their communities.
Womandla Career Expo is a one day annual event that presents opportunities to exhibitors to share knowledge about their business and industry to learners. It is opportunity for learners to interact with industry leaders, gain knowledge on career opportunities and receive career guidance.
Womandla Career Expo 2022 was a success and that is mostly because of those who supported and availed themselves to the learners at Isilimela High School in Langa.
The program was set and went as expected – with the expo participants including:
Companies showcasing the different roles they have and giving advise the the learners
NFSAS – The National Student Financial Aid Scheme, a South African government student financial aid scheme which provides financial aid to undergraduate students to help pay for the cost of their tertiary education after finishing high school.
Speakers educating on
the importance of Mathematics (as part of ending Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month),
4IR (Fourth Industrial Revolution) with the focus on educating the future generation about disruptive technologies and opening their minds up to a world of possibility and
HR Coaching and Leadership to provide career guidance to the learners
The Career Expo accommodated +- 400 learners of Grades 8 to 12. Each grade was given 45 minutes where they would listen, engage and ask questions to the exhibitors.
Isilimela High School is the school that Womandla adopted this year. Since the year began Womandla has hosted workshops and tutoring on Mathematics to the Grade 10 and Grade 11 learners. The Career Expo was a way of
As part of the Expo Womandla handed over some sanitary wear from our sponsors. It is a way of contributing to girl’s education as they will be able to stay in school.
We would like to thank Isilimela High school, the speakers and exhibitors for their great impact. Your contribution has been instrumental in building strong foundations in the lives of the learners. Above all we are grateful to God, to Whom we give All The Glory.
With the mission to inspire and connect learners to employment opportunities we look forward to involvement of more companies as exhibitors in the upcoming career expos.
Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month was born from the need to increase public understanding of and appreciation for Mathematics and Statistics. Problem-solving skills is one of the most important skills which every individual should possess to be successful in life. Such skills help individuals in decision making, let it be professional or personal.
How can we increase awareness of Mathematics and Statistics?
Highlighting the importance of Mathematics and/or Statistics
Educating and equipping knowledge of Mathematics and/or Statistics to learners
Highlighting and celebrating Mathematics and Statistics careers and impact in other careers
Womandla supports Mathematics and Statistics Awareness
Conversations with Mathematics and Statistics Professionals to create awareness on careers and importance of Mathematics and Statistics
This Maths and Statistics Awareness month our Head of STEAM has been tutoring Mathematics to our learners in Langa.
Today we are hosting the Career Expo at Isilimela High School in Langa and the programme has a speaker lined up to speak on the importance of Mathematics.
We need to address the stigma around Mathematics being deemed as a subject that is not useful in our every day lives but just something we need to barely understand to make it in life. The following are ways in which we can also relay the importance of Mathematics and Statistics to our family and friends:
Mathematics is a universal language.
Once you know the formula then you can solve any problem. I like the consistency and reliability. The principles and foundations of Math are the same everywhere in the world. 10 plus 10 will always equal 20 and a triangle is always be a three sided shape. We may have adopted different symbols and units of measurement, but when translated, they all mean the same things.
Mathematics and Statistics is essential in multiple careers
Most careers require Maths. We have a lot of learners ask us why Math is important in careers such as computer programming to which we highlight how mathematics helps in teaching problem solving and different ways of thinking. Mathematics provides an effective way of building mental discipline and encourages logical reasoning and mental rigor.
In this digital age computers have become increasingly important and common in today’s world. Computer science drives the innovations emerging in every area of society. To understand computer science, you have to understand a few kinds of math, including binary math, calculus, statistics, and more. Thinking “mathematically” or analytically helps you grow your skills in areas like coding, database-building, software development, and more
Various kinds of math go into architecture, including geometry and algebra. To become an architect, students need to take classes like calculus, trigonometry, probability, statistics, and more. These skills are used to analyse and calculate design and possible problems that might arise. Contractors and construction workers must also use math skills to accurately measure and build what the architect designed. Architecture doesn’t typically use extremely complicated math, but knowing the basics and thinking analytically are important.
Statistics play a big role in the medical field. Before any drugs prescribed, scientist must show a statistically valid rate of effectiveness. Statistics are behind all the study of medical.
Mathematics is applied in various fields and disciplines, i.e., mathematical concepts and procedures are used to solve problems in science, engineering, economics. (For example, the understanding of complex numbers is a prerequisite to learn many concepts in electronics.) The complexity of those problems often requires relatively sophisticated mathematical concepts and procedures when compared to the mathematical literacy aforementioned.
Maths is also an essential concept of fashion designing. From taking measurements, estimating the quantity and quality of material to make clothing and estimating the cost and profit for making the clothes all include mathematics.
Mathematics and Statistics are used in every day life
Without the basics of addition and subtraction money matters are an issue. It is therefore important that the basic understanding of Math is made a pre requisite for all people. Math and money are closely linked. Without math skills, it would be challenging to balance a budget. Spending too much money or spending money you don’t even have are consequences of poor math skills.
If you have cooked at least once in your life you may have encountered the importance of Maths after miscalculation of quantities. Quantities are measured or estimated based on a universal understanding of quantity.
Have you wondered how weather forecasting is done? There are some computers models build on statistical concepts which compare prior weather with the current weather and predict future weather.
Just this month we had a census happening in the Western Cape and other parts of South Africa. The census entails calculating, acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. The census uses mathematical and statistical concepts. The census is important because it informs decision-making at all levels both in government and the private sector.
Mathematics is a backbone for other subjects
You might be surprised to know that Mathematics forms the backbone for every subject. The subjects like physics, chemistry, economics, history, accountancy, statistics, in fact, every subject is based upon maths. In addition, mathematical knowledge plays a crucial role in understanding the contents of other school subjects such as science, social studies, and even music and art.
Confidence can never be borrowed. Rather, it is anchored through knowledge of and being steady in who you are. Our mentees recently embarked on this journey at the Confidence workshop. They were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones to share about themselves. It was a space to learn how to confidently express themselves, and their passions. Goals were set for this year as they communicated their desires with academics, expectations and points of growth towards personal development.
It was a kaleidoscope of expressions. Various activities were done which included painting what this space of power meant to them. Each painting was unlike any from their peers and unique. A testament as if to ask where else would this confidence stem from? It is in being different and walking in it confidently. This difference from among the rest is what anchors one to be themselves.
In building on this foundation, we followed up with our Annual Vision Board Workshop. Watching them present their wildest dreams and ideas was a great privilege. It was growth worth noting as those who had begun fearful speaking in front of others, were now sharing their dreams before their peers with such confidence. These vision boards were so different and unique to each mentee. They were beaming as they told their stories of what they envision for the future. Learning communication skills will take them further in achieving their goals, to being successful in their academics and growing in their social and family lives. Our mentees are on a journey. One that begins with confidence in who they are. One that has a future filled with hope.
As if that was not enough, we build on sure foundations.
We interviewed our STEAM Awards 2022 Winner for the Advocacy of STEM in communities, Margo Adonis.
Ms Margo Adonis is a registered Scientist with SACNASP, she works for the Department of Water and Sanitation and is also Miss Earth Ambassador. Margo is involved in many community upliftment programmes, especially in water conservation and environmental conservation. Through her Miss Earth Portfolio and professional work, she engages young people in schools and communities, involving them in projects such as beach clean ups and career development to encourage young people to be involved in taking care of the environment and to take up careers in science (and related fields). Margo’s passion for science and environmental protection has led her to advocate at a community level through education and awareness as she has established her own NGO, Visions of Change focused on Environmental advocacy and scientific empowerment within Communities across the Western Cape.
We invited Margo to the STEAM Room to talk about inclusivity in STEM.
Inclusivity and diversity in STEAM – is it happening and to what extent – what more needs to be done to open up the STEAM industry?
For many years STEAM has been a male dominated environment created, designed and filled to empower and grow that very male population. Overtime we have slowly began to see Woman taking up spaces but only after many glass ceilings were shattered and they demanded those spaces. Inclusivity and diversity are amongst many battles still being fought for we have shifted the needle, but progression remains slow. Personally for myself a young female of colour I remember when I entered the STEAM environment many told me it would be hard to make a name for myself. The harder I worked, the louder I demanded and aggressively took up spaces just to normalize the idea that a female of colour can command her territory. Over the past few years I have seen more woman in power, more woman empowering both themselves and others and most of all woman in positions to be change makers and that is a sign there has been more progression then cared to admit however there is so much more work to be done.
How important is being sponsored or mentored in STEAM? Is it similar in approach and how it can be done the way it’s done in the traditional corporate space?
In the STEAM environment it’s so important to have strong, passionate, and dedicated mentors who are willing to empower the next because having such role models available and willing to groom others by investing their time, patience and knowledge plays such an important role in the development of your own path. Without the advice and guidance it becomes harder to grow in a way that not only opens doors for yourself but for others to follow as well. Any form of sponsorship both modernised or traditional is important especially when you are trying to position yourself to reach well beyond the ordinary, resources and good advice are two major factors when growing yourself in the STEAM environment for those are two things that will not only ensure your grow your professional career but allow you to invent and recreate spaces.
How can private – public – academic partnerships truly make an impact in STEAM? What areas need to be focused on to make these partnerships really work?
On some small scales there are already such partnerships that exist, collaboration and partnership is a fundamental tool to the success of many. When objectives are aligned it allows room for such partnership and collaborations to take place.
In the STEAM space we see the strength of such partnerships through events such as the Eskom science expo for young scientist where the link between all these sectors join forces to ensure the STEAM environment grows, beyond that the relationship between academics and public sectors where students are exposed to the technical and scientific working environment through internships and graduate programme is another platform which once again showcases not only the need but the strength and outcome of such partnerships. Some areas which needs to be focused on includes; expanding partnerships, strengthening local partners, partnerships creation, marketing of outcomes and lastly investments into such partnerships.