For the second consecutive year, girls from middle schools across Luxembourg were invited to join a workshop organised by 'greenlight for girls' and Vodafone Foundation Luxembourg.
This year's even was organised in collaboration with the Luxembourg Ministry of Education and SCIPT, a branch of the ministry dedicated to promoting and coordinating research and technological innovation throughout the education system to improve pedagogical practices.
The two-day workshop saw 155 girls, aged 11 to 15, invited to Vodafone Luxembourg to learn more about science and technology in ways meant to inspire them. They were introduced to female role-models from Vodafone Luxembourg who aimed to motivate the girls to pursue a future in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.
After customising their own lab coats, the girls listened to inspirational talks from Princess Tessy and Melissa Rancourt, Founder of greenlight for girls, and several female role models from Vodafone Luxembourg. Working in break out groups. Girls had the opportunity to discover the secrets of coding, dive into procurement, or learn about cyber security. The girls also benefitted from mentoring sessions, interacting with the 25 volunteers and STEM role-models present each day.
Princess Tessy de Nassau — who is, among many roles, a UNAIDS Global Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls, an ambassador for Montessori St Nicholas, and currently raising funds for her education non-profit Professors Without Borders — welcomed the girls and led a biology workshop where she taught them the secrets behind DNA.
Princess Tessy noted that “despite the fact that women in STEM have a long tradition we need more young girls in STEM, as STEM is vital for the career and job opportunities of the future. The world is changing fast, and we need girls to be ready for the world of tomorrow”.
Melissa Rancourt, an American who founded greenlight for girls and the Board President, explaied, “Through our work world-wide, we find that these hands-on learning events and the introduction to role models, such as Princess Tessy de Nassau and the team in Vodafone, are the key elements to changing these girls' perceptions of STEM. Our research shows that these events inspire girls to aspire to be future scientists, engineers and programmers and to continue their STEM studies to use in any path they choose for their future. With these events and the needed support from our partners, we truly believe that 'Anything is Possible' to change the landscape of women in STEM.”
Ninian Wilson, CEO of Vodafone Procurement Company (based in Luxembourg) stated “As a global technology company it’s important for us to promote and drive STEM education for girls. Along with our Vodafone Foundation, we’re ready, and uniquely placed to support our local community in Luxembourg. We know the future is exciting, and we want to assist in building future STEM leaders and creating a more vibrant and gender balanced workplace”.
Virginie Vast, Head of Vodafone Foundation in Luxembourg said “We are committed to drive inclusion of girls through digital learning in Luxembourg, promoting STEM to equip young women from all backgrounds with skills needed in the future job market.”