A joint initiative, between UK-based global major aerospace and defence group BAE Systems and Girl Guides Singapore, launched in 2019, has resulted in nearly 800 Singaporean girls undertaking engineering challenges and earning a 'She Solves' badge. The purpose of the initiative is to encourage girls to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The She Solves programme was launched by Girl Guides Singapore and developed by a team of women engineers at BAE Systems in the UK.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the events for the programme had to be held virtually last year. Nevertheless, two such large virtual events took place at the end of 2020 and saw more than 220 girls successfully complete engineering challenges and earn their She Solves badges.
"It is great to see more and more girls completing the challenge in Singapore," affirmed BAE Systems MD Asia Natasha Pheiffer. "Through our longstanding partnership with Singapore, including our Cyber business based there, we hope to continue to encourage Singapore's future pipeline of talent to take an interest in engineering." (Pheiffer started her career with BAE Systems in South Africa.)
"The She Solves badge reinforces Girl Guides Singapore's mission to engage girls through fun and enriching learning programmes that empower them to reach their fullest potential," highlighted Girl Guides Singapore chief commissioner Koh-Teh Yi Wen. "Hands-on experimentation or 'learning by doing' is extremely effective for girls to experience firsthand how interesting and exciting STEM concepts are. Not only do they enjoy coming up with solutions to solve real-world problems, it is also exciting to consider how STEM can be used to help people lead better lives. Furthermore, the opportunity to learn directly from female engineers and see their achievements has inspired many more girls to consider pursuing a career in engineering -- a traditionally male-dominated profession."
"As a mother of girls I've loved hearing the Girl Guides talk about the contributions of women in engineering, and how the She Solves challenge has sparked off their interests and ambitions in the STEM field," reported UK High Commissioner to Singapore Kara Owen, who hosted three of the badgewinners for afternoon tea. "These girls will be tomorrow's researchers, scientists, mathematicians and engineers. There's every chance they can change our world. Researchers and scientists from the UK and Singapore collaborate closely across many fields, tackling some of the world's most pressing problems such as climate change, and initiatives like She Solves help to inspire our countries' next generations of women STEM specialists and leaders."
Following the success of the She Solves programme in Singapore, BAE Systems last year launched an equivalent engineering challenge badge with Girl Guides Malaysia. The company's first such Girl Guide engineering challenge badge programme was launched in 2017 with the Girl Guides in the UK. Singapore has a population of just over 5.7-million people. Founded in 1917, Girl Guides Singapore has some 9 000 members.