The Erasmus+ Youth Exchange "DECODE: DECODE: Debunking the Myths of STEAM for Girls’ Opportunities, Diversity, and Empowerment is being held at @Šiaulių techninės kūrybos centras from 13th to 19th of August in Siauliai, Lithuania.
The overall goal of the project is to encourage young girls to take up and participate in STEAM subjects, to aim and strive for a STEAM career while breaking the stereotypical bias of STEM fields being male-oriented and dominant. Using means of informal education to deconstruct gender stereotyping from its roots, to explore how it is created and manifests in our everyday lives.
The first two days were full of activities. We began with getting to know each other on Monday morning. It was followed by team-building activities where girls could communicate even more and find possible solutions to given challenges. In the afternoon participants had a chance to meet the first guest of the youth exchange - Marija Muningyte - a former student of Technical centre (Programming and Astrophysic). Marija shared her personal story and a dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. She also presented today's trends in the world of engineering. After participants took part in a science laboratory work, where they replicate coral reefs with a help of metal salts.
On day two, girls were exploring the topic of gender equality and, particularly, in STEAM. Working in smaller groups participants were searching and presenting information on gender biases, social roles, women in STEAM and many more.
In the afternoon, the second guest joined the group - Simona Skere - a product developer at @NMF Metal company. She told her story and led a workshop on engineering, where girls working in teams had to design and build a maze and try it in a Maze competition.
The day finished with an Intercultural night of Malta and Greece where all participants had a chance to taste a piece of Mediterranean cultures.