Five secondary school girls have designed and created a robotic arm trash collector prototype for collecting and separating waste under the Schneider Electric girls’ empowerment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The girls, who are between ages 14 and 17, exceled at the just-concluded Schneider Electric’s second edition of a weeklong sponsored training in Abuja in solar energy, IT and robotics technical skills, directly tackling the cultural stereotypes and barriers associated with young girls.
They won a discovery tour to Schneider Electric’s facility in Lagos as part of the package.
Receiving the girls in Lagos , the Marketing and Communications Manager, Schneider Electric, Viviane Mike-Eze, said the company was committed to developing local talents particularly in Africa with focus on girl-child who has limited opportunity to develop herself in STEM.
“At Schneider Electric, we see it as a responsibility to expose them to other women who are thriving in these areas for them to know how limitless the possibilities are.
“As Schneider Electric continues to grow in Nigeria, it aims to continue grooming local capacities and local content in such a way that it will contribute to national development,” she said.
According to Mike-Eze, Schneider Electric’s access to energy programme is based on its philosophy to contribute to poverty alleviation and environmental protection by equipping everyone with safe, efficient and sustainable energy by helping businesses to develop inclusive models.
One of the STEM girls, who simply gave her name as Farida, said she was pleased with the display of technologies at Schneider Electric.
“One of it is that one can conserve energy by controlling home appliances with the use of technology even while far away from home via EcoStruxure and automation; it is simply amazing,” she said.
The initiative is the latest in a series of education programmes from Schneider Electric in West Africa. Others include the setting up of a Schneider Electric Laboratory at the University of Ibadan and its partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbelt (GIZ).
It involves the implementation of a solar training programme in three Nigerian technical training institutions for young, underprivileged Nigerians.
Schneider Electric under the framework of its Access to Energy (A2E) Programme, recently partnered with the Visiola Foundation to empower girls in STEM as part of its commitment to developing local content.
During the two-day Lagos tour, the girls received various interactive presentations from Schneider Electric staff and an educative session on Programmable Logic Controllers with demonstration kits for practical applications.
They also had a stimulating session on discovering EcoStruxure; visited a Schneider Electric partner’s factory on an industrial excursion and were exposed to various manufacturing processes and met with female engineers who further inspired them.
The STEM girls were given a lecture on building soft skills for employability.