Workshop on Women in STEM Roadshows Starts in AMU
The Indo-US APJ Abdul Kalam Centre of Excellence for STEM Education and Research, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in partnership with the Ohio State University (OSU), USA today started a two-day workshop on ‘Women in STEM Roadshows’ at the Women’s College Auditorium.
Dr Hameeda Tariq (Renowned paediatrician and wife of AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor), who attended the inaugural function as the chief-guest said that in an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law, and business, why are there so few women scientists and engineers?
She added that we need to ponder on reasons which are blocking women’s progress in STEM and motivate and boost them for excelling in the field.
“The society needs to understand how career women maintain work-life balance and it is imperative for employers to respect the home lives of workers at a much greater level than we currently do,” said Dr Hameeda.
Guest-of-honour, Prof Naima Khatoon (Principal, Women’s College) said that the Women's College, AMU was established to educate girl students particularly from weaker sections of the society. She added that the Women’s College is pioneer institution of its kind which is providing knowledge to so many deserving communities and in the process it has become a role model and guiding light.
“Our students are un-cut diamonds and the right mentorship at the Women’s College and AMU shapes them,” said Prof Khatoon.
Prof Sultana Nahar (Ohio State University) urged Women’s College students to work in new horizons of science such as astronomy and finding new planets in far off solar systems.
“There is a need of finding other potentially habitable planets amid the sea of stars in the galaxy where humanity can survive comfortably,” she said adding that it is important to empower young women for pursuing more careers in the STEM fields.
“It is hoped that the workshop on Women-in-STEM- Roadshows will motivate more and more female students to take up STEM careers.
Dr Karen E Irving (Department of Teaching and Learning, OSU) motivated students while emphasising how she balances family life and work. “I got married and had kids while I finished my BS in Chemistry at Bucknell University,” said Dr Irving adding that she did MS and Phd in science education at the University of Virginia.
“As an associate professor, I have served in positions of co-principal investigator on the Connected-Classrooms-in-Promoting-Achievement-in-Mathematics and Science project in USA and associate director for education on the STEM-faculty project,” she said pointing out that she had also trained STEM faculty at higher education institutions in India.
Dr Nasreen Haque (President, Intalage Inc) said that this workshop said that the idea of the workshop is to facilitate and guide girl students to make their mark in STEM education. She added that participants of the workshop will be able to clear their doubts and prepare to make the cut for science research.
Prof Anil Pradhan from OSU who has significant contributions in theoretical optical and X-ray spectroscopy in astrophysics, atomic structures and spectroscopy among other fields also spoke on the occasion.
While welcoming the guests, director of the workshop, Prof Farukh Arjmand (Department of Chemistry, AMU) said that women in STEM fields lag behind their male counterparts with the problem being acute for women from disadvantaged groups. “The primary reasons are the regressive socioeconomic and cultural factors in the lives of women and conducting the STEM Roadshows might yield benefits and bring women in mainstream,” said Prof Arjmand. She is also the co-director of APJ Abdul Kalam Centre of Excellence for STEM Education and Research.
Prof Tauheed Ahmad (Chairperson, Department of Physics and Director, APJ Abdul Kalam Centre of Excellence for STEM Education and Research) proposed the vote of thanks.
Ms Swaleha Naseem conducted the programme.