ISRO KV Khanapara
A view of the virtual event.

A top scientist of ISRO digitally inaugurated STEM+E Club (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics +Entrepreneurship Club) for girl students at Kendriya Vidyalaya Khanapara in Guwahati.

The student club was inaugurated on Monday by Shilpi Soni, scientist (Engineer-SG), Group Head, ARTG/
HSTA, Space Application Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad who attended the digital event as the chief guest.

The objective of the club is to engage and inspire girls of Classes 8, 9 and 10 so that more and more girls enter STEM+E subjects in Class 11 and also to motivate girls of classes 11&12 to continue with STEM+E subjects with more confidence.

Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Principal, KV Khanapara, presided over the event.

The event was organised by STEM+E Club for girls with the initiative of Founder Captain Hibah Ihsan Muhammad, Class 12 under the guidance of the Principal and teachers.

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The event was initiated by Navaneeta Bhattacharyya, teacher-in-charge of KV Khanapara.

The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Principal, KVK.

Dr Kumar declared the establishment of the STEM+E club for girls at KV Khanapara.

He too noted that though girls outnumber boys in primary and secondary classes, but girls are less compared to boys in STEM+E courses in Higher Secondary.

Dr Kumar and Navaneeta Bhattacharyya noted the importance of girls in STEM+E subjects and assured that girl students will be encouraged and supported such that girls are equal in all spheres and in STEM leadership.

The chief guest of the event, Shilpi Soni congratulated Hibah Ihsan Muhammad for taking the initiative of setting up of the STEM+E Club for girls and coordinating with the ISRO and appreciated the Principal and teachers for supporting students to form this club on promoting girls in STEM+E fields.

During the inaugural session of STEM+E Club for girls by KV, Shilpi Soni, a top scientist at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) spoke about the importance of science & technology in the overall nation building process.

She emphasized about significant role & need of girls & women in the technology domain & entrusted the young minds to shoulder the nation’s development responsibility overcoming all the gender biases & breaking the glass ceiling but first within their own minds.

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“We females form 50% of the world in terms of population but we also need to aspire, stand up, push the boundaries, share the major responsibilities & contribute ~50% towards making world an equitable
place for mankind with sustainable development,” Soni said.

In her presentation, Soni noted that women are 30% in under graduation and 18% in graduation but in career, women are only 8% with less than 0.1% only in top leadership positions.

She listed a number of reasons on the importance of women in STEM+E viz., employment potential for STEM talent, wide range of career options, opportunities for technological innovations and entrepreneurship culture.

Her Questions and Answers session was liked by all the students.

Hibah Ihsan Muhammad, Founder Captain of STEM+E Club for girls in her welcome address to Shilpi Soni sai, “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics + Entrepreneurship are changing the world in all spheres including the way we live, work and think.”

Muhammad added, “We are in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with cutting edge technologies of Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology etc.”

“Women need science and science needs women,” she further said.

She assured that under the guidance of the Principal, STEM+E club will encourage, inspire and coach girls of Classes 8,9 and 10 to opt for STEM+E subjects in Higher Secondary.

The event was a huge success with the active participation of students and teachers.

The Principal of KVK appreciated Babu Ram, Vice Principal, Navaneeta Bhattacharyya, teacher in-charge of KVK and Hibah Ihsan for the initiative.

Shivangi Sankarshan of Class 11 expressed sincere gratitude to Shilpi Soni for her inspiring talk and for the enriching interaction with the girl students and teachers.

She extended a vote of thanks to Dr.K.Sivan, Chairman, ISRO & Secretary, Dept of Space; Dr. R. Uma Maheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO; Imtiaz Khan, Scientist, Group Director, HSFC, ISRO; Dr. VM Chowdary, DGM, Regional Remote Sensing Centre-North ISRO and Sudheer Kumar, Director, Capacity Building Program Office for facilitating the event and for making it successful.

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