Mathsgenius

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Mathsgenius: GirlChild Rise Up

Midrand, South AfricaMIdrand, South Africa
Year Founded:
2008
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Help Print and Distribute Books to the African GirlChild: This book has been written with girls and women in mind. It contains a message of hope, faith and belief that you can pursue a career in STEM like men. Gone are the days when society stereotyped women as weak and incapable success in STEM.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every African girl had a chance to reach their full potential in STEM?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is a wide gap between women/girls and men/boys in terms of taking up STEM careers. There is a further gap within the STEM professions in terms of salaries. There is not enough emphasis on encouraging girls to challenge the status quo and lead STEM as most inventions have been male dominated and at times not optimal for female users.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Motivate girls to pursue careers of their choice due to the fact that they have equal intellectual capacity, at the same time pushing for more mentor-ship and pro-activity among women in STEM. Educate the communities at large at this discrepancy which is "normal" in many parts of Africa. Celebrate women's achievements and make them visible to all African girls.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A lot of girls in Africa do not know that they can because society has played down their intelligence thus this book serves as a source of information, motivation and inspiration. The book focuses on pushing for scientific thinking in problem solving which is pivotal to girls excelling in STEM. A girl in rural Zimbabwe can read this book which has examples of women in science from all over the world and know that it is possible to achieve STEM success regardless of location, sex, family income and all the othe attributes used to discriminate.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The book is coupled with motivational talks and workshops involving MathsGenius and women in Science, the emphasis will be on self-reliance thus there will be a strong emphasis on problem solving methodology which will allow communities to run their own science ventures based on learnt principles. Organic growth will drive the expansion of the programme in each community. Mathsgenius has started having workshops in different schools in the Midrand South Africa and a competition was held whereby area school learners (both boys and girls) designed the cover of the book GirlChild rise in so doing, opening the dialogue on gender equality in the classroom.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

50 000 learners have had access to the competition to design the cover for the motivational book and thus gender equality has been ingrained in their minds. 20 000 learners will have access to the book and will attend workshops to better appreciate gender equality and this will permeate into the whole Midrand area which has a population of approximately one million residents through trickle down within families and clubs.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Books will be produced once a year and distributed to schools who will retain the books and they can be reused by future generations, thus giving MathsGenius an opportunity to donate books to other needy areas. The knowledge will be disseminated through school clubs whereby a patron, preferably a Life Orientation teacher who will incorporate the project in the work schedule.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The project gives value as it is not a once-off event but continuous and is not generalizing about girl child empowerment but has zoned into a niche which is STEM education. The MathsGenius Director is a well-known TV and radio personality popularly referred to as "The Maths Evangelist", which adds impetus to the project and gives meaning and stimulates participation among learners across the board. The main focus of the Department of Education is to get girls into schools and not be susceptible to early pregnancy and marriage, but MathsGenius is focusing on those in school to excel in STEM.
Team

Founding Story

MathsGenius' primary focus is motivation and training for mathematical excellence. When going into schools, we noticed that girls were doing well in maths and science until Grade 9 and then Grade 10 to Matric there was a decline in the number of girls doing STEM subjects, most were encouraged to go for "softer subjects" like History. The quality of the few girls doing STEM is generally lower compared to boys. Incidentally, at the end of Grade 9, learners choose subjects to take which is the career determining step and most girls are ill-advised.

Team

Currently we have 4 full time staff who are all maths and science teachers. We will recruit more teachers to act as Patrons and will train learners at their school through the Life Orientation classes. Upon growth 40 permanent staff spanning the 9 provinces of South Africa will be responsible for training patrons in their respective provinces.