Empowering Girls through STEM

There is a gap in learning new technological skills amongst Pakistani young girls that hinders employment opportunities for them in the latest tech fields. Women in South and West Asia continue to be underrepresented in the fields of STEM, with UNESCO reporting in 2019 that just 18.5% of workers in research and development roles are women. To counter the gender imbalance in this arena in Pakistan, it is important to encourage diversity by educating young girls about career choices in STEM and to build their skills and confidence to achieve their potential. We seek an implementing partner to organize a series of technology-based programs on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) themes for middle to high school-aged girls in the Islamabad and Lahore districts, in partnership with our network of Lincoln Corners. Lincoln Corners are partnerships between the Embassy of the United States of America and selected institutions in Pakistan. Located within universities, public libraries, and cultural centers. Lincoln Corners are multi-media resource centers, where visitors can connect, practice their English, and learn about America in different ways. Some of our Lincoln Corner facilities are already equipped with basic makerspace tools (for example, a modest number of 3D printers and robotics and virtual reality kits) and have held technology-based experiential learning programs for youth in the past. However, for the purposes of the “Empowering Girls Through STEM Learning” program, we are not tied to any specific technologies and are actively seeking experienced applicants’ recommendations for the most relevant technologies to highlight herein. The programs will emphasize the development of critical thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration, and design thinking skills. They will feature a hands-on, experience-based facilitation style that encourages young women to explore STEM careers through participation in, for example, maker/Do-It-Yourself (DIY) camps and coding workshops. The grantee will develop a curriculum for and organize a total of 20 foundational, technology-based programs focused on imparting skills like creative problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and design thinking in five Lincoln Corners in Pakistan (Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Muzaffarabad), with 40 girls at each site. During the summer months, the grantee will organize two in-person events (for example, maker camps or hackathons),with up to 100 of the participating students from the earlier Corner workshops to include a juried competition for the top three winning technology-based projects or products (website, application, game, or software). The grantee will provide a calendar of events for each participating Corner for 12 months starting from October 2021. The Embassy, in consultation with the implementing partner, will set participant selection criteria and approve the final participant list and each program’s curriculum.

fundingOpportunityNumber: 
SCAISB-21-AW-004-01252021
Competition Opens: 
01/25/2021
Competition Closes: 
03/26/2021
Agency: 
U.S. Mission to Pakistan
Eligible Applicants: