NORTH BRUNSWICK – A sophomore at North Brunswick Township High School is working toward advancing STEM education around the world and making it free and accessible to all young children.
Ria Patel is issuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) magazine for adolescent girls in Mapapa, part of Zambia, Africa.
Due to a lack of emphasis on STEM courses in underprivileged countries, the teen wanted to increase STEM support in underprivileged countries for students to potentially advance their villages.
Ria hopes the magazine will act as a guide and support system for young girls to explore more about STEM careers and what they can do to achieve their goals.
Ria found out about Mapapa through the social media of social worker Dora moono Nyambe, a woman in Mapapa who is working to provide education for children in her town.
The town became her focus as many girls were given an education there, but not enough to help them choose a career path. The girls have not been given any support from their families and have to rely on the career they choose to earn for themselves. The town has established a small school for students and is currently raising money for healthcare.
In February, Ria began to work on a website that would enable her peers to publish STEM projects during the pandemic. She coded and programmed an entire website that followed a series of commands to filter inappropriate content by itself.
She did not stop there.
The teen wanted to use her knowledge of computer programming and design to help create an interactive magazine for young girls to read about STEM.
She came across the idea of creating a magazine when she noticed how the girls had basic education, but no guidance or support.
Ria looked for ways to make this basic coaching possible and realized a magazine would be a simple and fun way to learn about different career approaches. She reached out to girls all over the world to support her in creating a magazine to educate young girls about computer science.
In August, Ria held a Python workshop to empower young girls in her community to learn about Python programming. Using the presentation, she created a virtual magazine that could be accessed by girls all over the world to learn basic Python programming.
She is preparing to publish her magazine on Amazon this fall, which will be available for free for students in Mapapa, and anyone who wishes to purchase an online copy will have their proceeds sent to the town’s fund.
Ria plans on publishing a new volume of the magazine every four months with the contribution of girls from around the world who wish to provide valuable information to help others.
The magazine will be available in simplified English as the girls in Mapapa are taught basic English.
“I realized that not every girl is as privileged to pick up a book and start learning like I am and I wanted to do what I could to help make that possible,” Ria said.
To donate to Mapapa, visit https://gofund.me/9c5d6a22
- This information was provided by Arina Elani.