The Ameri-STEAM Girls Bootcamp in Côte d’Ivoire is an initiative designed to empower young girls and encourage their pursuit of STEM careers. This year’s bootcamp, held July 24 - August 22, 2023, brought together 78 girls, aged 13-19 years, from across Côte d’Ivoire.
The bootcamp aimed to inspire, educate, and empower young girls, enabling them to overcome the barriers that often discourage female participation in STEM fields. Its objectives include inspiration and exposure, hands-on learning, confidence building, and mentorship as well as networking.
Leveraging Oracle Academy's free open educational resources, the instructors had access to our Java Fundamentals course to teach the girls using Alice and Greenfoot. In small groups, they were able to create 3-D animations, brainstorm topics on issues they faced in their communities, and make formal presentations of their projects.
In their project presentations, the girls used 3-D animation with Alice to describe and present the issues and proposed solutions in the form of mobile applications. For instance, the issue of buying unmarked and out-of-date medicinal pills on the street was presented using an Alice 3 animation, and a list of pharmacies and authorized medications and prescribed dosages were developed using a mobile app.
The bootcamp closing activities included an Oracle-led mentorship session kicked off by Annick Sakho, Country Leader, Oracle Côte d’Ivoire, and Director of Corporate Affairs at Oracle. Other guest speakers included:
At the end of the bootcamp, some of the participants expressed their gratitude to Oracle Academy and Ameri-STEAM and affirmed that they now have increased interest in STEM, confidence, empowerment, and more diverse perspectives, as well as appreciating great mentors in the STEM field.
Many of the girls who attended the bootcamp discovered a newfound interest in STEM subjects, which can lead to future educational and career choices in these fields.