Project Young Girls in Engineering (YGE) seeks to annually encourage female secondary school students who aspire to study engineering in the tertiary institutions in Nigeria. From studies carried out by various bodies and individuals, as well as from personal experiences, it has been observed and established that the number of female students enrolled in engineering courses is too low compared to the number of men in the same field. The issue of Engineering for females has been surrounded by numerous myths and wrong notions, and young female students face competitiveness of the course, and also of discrimination and intimidation in the engineering environment. The CYFI Engineering Team has identified that in order to tackle this problem of gender inequality in enrolment for engineering education in Nigeria, there is need to make more information available to young students at an early stage, particularly at secondary school level, and also to provide encouragement and tutelage for female students to be able to successfully cope and also excel in the field. We therefore plan to share knowledge and various experiences as outstanding students in the engineering field, and also help to open up doors of opportunities in terms of available scholarships and fellowships for women. The aim of this is to help them to develop a better general and practical understanding of the field, to dispel their fears and misconceptions, and also to ignite and strengthen their interest in engineering. Fostering their practical understanding of the engineering field would entail them working with simple engineering materials and performing simple engineering experiments; teaching with what can be seen physically as against abstract thoughts, calculations, theories and ideas; knowing about the various engineering fields relevant to the Nigerian economy and visiting engineering sites/companies. The overall vision of the YGE team is to see a prominent increase in the number of women going into engineering in Nigeria, and all over the world as a whole. For the 2013 Fellowship year, the YGE Team intends to execute this project simultaneously in two schools within Lagos State – Queens’ College, Yaba and Shepherdhill Baptist Girls’ high school, Obanikoro.
- Provide a proper orientation for at least six hundred young female students in Lagos State (at least three hundred per school), together with their parents, about female students studying engineering.
- Train at least 200 female students (at least 100 per school) between May 2013 and January 2014 to equip them with practical skills in different aspects of engineering, and also strengthen their drive for academic excellence.