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How to bridge the gender gap in science education through interactive design

An interactive robotic kit developed at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) that seeks to introduce children, especially girls, to science and technology. The goal is to bridge the gender gap in science education and educate critical citizens rather than passive consumers.

This content was published on Feb 03, 2022 – 1:46 pm

Science and technology are global, but the truth is that women are still in the minority in professional fields related to the so-called STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) disciplines. The gender gap is particularly strong in future professions, such as computer science and engineering, where women not exceed 8%External link.

Launching of Laila Tawfik and Serena Kangiano from SUPSI eExternal linkIt is a project that aims to introduce girls between the ages of 9 to 12 in the fields of science and technology in a fun way, using interactive robots.

“Our group uses interactive stories to guide children, especially girls, in learning science and all future skills,” said Tawfiq, Ethafa’s Artistic Director.

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The co-authors realized that even in this digital age, younger generations don’t really understand beyond the technology and devices they use on a daily basis.

The kit is designed for use in schools and at home and has been specifically developed for Arab countries, such as the UAE, which invest heavily in technology solutions. That is why the Foundation held a workshop with local school girls at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“We really believe in empowering people with technology rather than creating passive consumers and consumers,” Cangiano says.