MathsGenius Leadership Institute turns to Indiegogo for girl empowerment funds

MathsGenius Leadership Institute (MGLI) based in Midrand has turned to the popular crowd funding website Indiegogo in its bid to raise funds for its girl empowerment project entitled GirlChild Rise Up in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) poster competition.

MGLI CEO, Edzai C. Zvobwo explained that the lack of positive response from all the South African organisations approached led to the institution taking the crowd funding route. At the time of going to press MGLI had received one donation of US$25 which is a drop in the ocean for its target of US$9 000.

The competition entails Grade 8 – 10 boys and girls designing a cover for the book GirlChild Rise Up in STEM, a motivational book encouraging girls and women to take up STEM subjects and careers as there is a dire need to open up dialogue and have Grade 8 to Grade 10 South African learners acknowledge the gender parity in STEM and how it can be resolved by a shift in the mindset and afford girls better subject choice decisions at Grade 9 based on ability and desired career. There is an acute under-representation of girls and women in STEM subjects and careers as a result of ill-informed subject decisions at Grade 9 level.

The campaign aims to:

  • Contribute to girl empowerment in education in South Africa and beyond.
  • Educate Grade 9 girl learners to choose subjects based on ability and desired career choices.
  • Unleash learner creativity and provide a launch-pad for design careers.
  • Give a chance to learners to contribute to equal rights in education.
  • Give learners an incentive to participate in the rights discussion and be ambassadors of change.
  • Increase public awareness of the plight of girls and women with respect to taking up STEM related subjects and careers.

The competition entails Grade 8 -10 boys and girls designing a cover for the book under the themes, Feminine Power, Freedom and Ability. The organisers gave a high-level plan of action as listed below:

  1. A communiqué by MGLI will be sent to all schools (learners from both public and private schools will take part in the initiative) requesting learners to design a cover/poster that celebrates girl freedom and excellence in STEM. Both genders have been included so that a holistic gender education programme is undertaken.
  2. Learners design covers for GirlChild Rise Up in STEM which is accompanied by an abstract and a short learner’s biography which will be posted on the MathsGenius Leadership Institute (MGLI) website and via the press
  3. The designs are collected per province via the provincial education offices and 3 provincial winners are determined by a panel of expert judges based in the respective provinces.
  4. The 27 provincial winners will be invited for a cover/poster exhibition on October 11 (International girl child day) where they will be able to auction/sell their designs to the attendees thus rewarding the learners’ creativity.
  5. Two national winners will be determined. First prize gets to have his/her design as the front cover of the book and second prize as the back cover.

The rules for eligibility are:

  • To be eligible for the cover/poster competition a learner should be in Grade 8, Grade 9 or Grade 10, regardless of gender.
  • The provincial winners will get a chance to attend the exhibition where they will walk away with hampers and their designs featured on the MGLI website.
  • The national winners will get prize money, hampers, their biographies and designs will be featured in the book, GirlChild Rise Up in STEM.
  • The provincial winners will be featured in the 27 poster exhibition book which will be distributed across the country and to other African countries.
  • Each poster will be judged solely on excellence of presentation based on the criteria described below. National judging will occur prior to the exhibition night and the points will be carried through and added to the scores from the judging that takes place during the awards ceremony.

Individuals and organisations who want to contribute to this noble cause in any capacity can contact MGLI on or +2711 073 1776.

Author: PR Officer

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