By Kaligirwa Ariane, WiSci STEAM Camp participant
When I heard about the Wisci camp; it was posted on our school notice board. I said "wow, let me give a try." I was with my friend passing around the day before we left school for our first semester holiday. I wanted to attend so I decided to write my essay about why I wanted to attend. My second semester was filled with the greediness of the meeting 119 girls sharing life experience and learn programing, coding (which was my first experience).
The day arrived -- I took a ride to Gashora by myself. What it turned out to be when I reached there was even better than what I expected to be like. In the first couple of days, getting to know each and every one was complicated but sisterhood was growing.
I had the experience with amazing girls and important people around the world. We were given free discussion with people who were successful. We learned how they overcame their challenges and most of them were women in science fields (which really helped inspire us). Cohort 2(kabiri Ibiri) was my family. Mother Nusrat, Sister Helena, Lilian, Sandrine, Hershee, Danni, Aisha and Agape. We had brilliant experiences in life. They say true friendship never ends but now I do believe in that.
After being exposed to the big world of what technology is (as Microsoft gave us sessions on coding, programming using Kodu game lab), we were all able to create games. Intel stepped in Gashora for the second week of the camp. We learned how to make small programmable cars (it was my first experience to feel what robotics really is).
We had wonderful excursions! The amazing excursion was at the Akagera National Park in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. We enjoyed it because we were able to see animals we weren't used to seeing in our lives. We went all over 4 districts of Rwanda. It took us 4 hours to reach our destination. While we were in the bus we sang many songs that we all like and danced.
When we arrived to Akagera, we went over some charts that helped us to classify the animals we were seeing. We saw a crocodile skeleton lying over the ground (it was gigantic). I liked the zebras, antelopes, baboons, giraffes, red eagle, hippos and other animals. We passed through the park for six hours watching animals drinking water from the lakes.
Now, people see me determined in STEM fields and they ask me,"Where did you draw that inspiration from?" I just answer them saying that, if it was not for the WiSci camp, I don't know where else it would come from!
If I hadn't attended the WiSci camp, I don't think I'd have the opportunity to even know about the STEAM field -- but luckily, I got a chance to choose the right path. Thanks to all the amazing people I met and for their inspiring stories. The journey continues to change the world.
Kaligirwa Ariane is a growing sophomore at Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology. She is taking Maths-Physics-Geography; she hopes to become a pilot in the future. She is among the outstanding girls in Rwanda who were awarded by the First lady of Rwanda Janette Kagame. Kaligirwa lives in Kigali, Rwanda.