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5th November 2021 – Sowmya Thottambeti Instructor for the GitHub Workshop assist twin sisters Morgan Jenkins and Madison Jenkins with their entries for the covid 19 API.

Photo: Tyrhonda Glinton

FEM STEM Bahamas in partnership with Sowmya Thottambeti, local software engineer hosted a FREE GitHub Workshop for Highschool students at the Edmund Moxey Community Center. According to organizer, Tyrhonda Glinton she is honored to collaborate for this workshop where students explored the world of programming and learned about “Git” a free & open-source distributed version control system and “Github” a popular code hosting platform. At the end of the workshop the eight participants contributed to the covid 19 Application Programming Interface (API), created by Joseph Pinder and Sowmya Thomtabetti. This application will digitize covid19 data and allow the tracking of COVID-19 data to be much more readily available in The Bahamas.

The script for the API has been made open source so that others can participate in the project and input data. Mr. Pinder and Ms. Thottambeti have received technical support from the Bahamian Developers Association. The site will house statistical data on cases, rates per hundred thousand, vaccination rates and death rates. The site will also feature graphs that can be manipulated based on the information the user is interested in retrieving.

The high schoolers were eager and proud to add their names as contributors to this very important platform that will allow local institutions like hospitals to use the data and provide their own data to the site in order to centralize important COVID-19 statistics for The Bahamas.

This workshop is just one of many initiatives organized by FEM STEM Bahamas a nonprofit organization whose prime mission is to expose, educate and empower girls to explore the opportunities within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics realm whilst fostering the fundamentals in self growth and career development.

With the continuous shift towards bridging the gender and skill gap in STEM, the organization will serve as a catalyst for this change. This will be achieved by providing resources, several year-round initiatives, field trips, seminars, talk shows and after school programs for high school girls between the ages of thirteen (13) and eighteen (18).

According to the Department of Statistics’ 2012 Socio-Economic Report, of the thirty-six (36) graduates who received degrees related to science, technology, and mathematics at the University of The Bahamas, only eleven (11) were female. Statistically, the regional average for the Caribbean and Latin America is 45.5% -- notably higher than the global standard. However, there is still a great deal of work needed to increase the overall interest of girls STEM in The Bahamas.

Additionally, the organization is set to officially launch its after-school program beginning in January 2022. The program itself consists of various learning modules and the members will be involved in a range of projects and activities that will be linked to the various career sectors within STEM. Through the comprehensive activity-, project-, and project-based learning, students will at the end of the 1 year program create a waste management information system to digitize the waste management process for the New Providence Ecology Park. We aim to give students the hands-on experience to investigate issues and solve real word problems via case studies.

The presence of STEM is mandate in the current ecosystem as it heavily contributes to the social, environmental and financial progress of The Bahamas especially in achieving the sustainable development goals (5, and 10).

Fem STEM Bahamas organizer thank sponsors Edmund Moxey Community Center and Sol Petroleum for helping to make this vision a reality. We invite the public to sign their students or donate to this initiative using the Together with Aliv platform

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