Look who is getting WISE at IIT Bombay! IIT Bombay has launched the WISE (Women in Science Engineering from Rural Parts of India) initiative to address the gender gap in STEM fields. The first event, held recently, targeted rural girls in the ninth grade, introducing them to STEM courses and providing mentorship. The program aims to inspire and empower young girls from rural areas.
Doors to STEM Opening
WISE invited 160 girls from 40 rural schools in Maharashtra, Bihar, and Odisha to stay at IIT Bombay for a week. They experienced life on campus, engaging in hands-on lab activities. They built circuits, radios, microprocessor-controlled circuits, and a remote-controlled robot. Motivational sessions with successful women in STEM and virtual reality experiences were also included. The girls were taught how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and participated in a drone-building event.
Inspiring Career Aspirations
The program had a significant impact on the girls’ career aspirations. Shivstuti Sambhare, a participant, was inspired to pursue engineering after meeting a mathematics professor at IIT Bombay. The initiative aimed not only to increase the number of girls in STEM but also to broaden their perspectives. It encouraged them to reconsider vocational courses and explore new opportunities. Teachers noticed a boost in the girls’ confidence and their willingness to challenge societal norms.
In rural areas, girls are often encouraged to prioritize family over careers and choose part-time job-oriented courses. WISE aimed to change this mindset by providing exposure to STEM and relatable role models. The program aimed to empower girls and encourage them to pursue their passions. By showcasing successful women from rural backgrounds, WISE shattered limitations and expanded the girls’ horizons.
Summing It Up
IIT Bombay’s WISE initiative is dedicated to closing the gender gap in STEM education. Through its first event, the program successfully introduced rural girls to STEM courses, provided mentorship, and inspired career aspirations. The initiative not only impacted the participants but also challenged societal norms and encouraged girls to explore diverse career paths. WISE will continue to create opportunities and foster an inclusive environment in science and technology.