Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu was inspired during her graduate studies at Texas A&M University to start a series of girls’ robotics clubs in her home country of Ghana. (Texas A&M Engineering)
Dr. Judy Amanor-Boadu, an electrical engineering former student, is creating new STEM opportunities for girls in Ghana. Amanor-Boadu ’13 ’18 was inspired during her graduate studies at Texas A&M University to start a series of girls’ robotics clubs in her home country of Ghana. “I am motivated to provide to these girls what I did not receive and to see them succeed in their careers because they had this opportunity,” said Amanor-Boadu. She set out on her mission by sharing it with the Women in Engineering (WE) director, Shawna Fletcher, who gave her a Lego Mindstorm kit to take to the pilot school and gauge interest.
“WE has been supporting several all-girl FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League teams locally for three years,” said Fletcher. “Judy saw their interest and wanted to start efforts to inspire young girls in Ghana. Judy has used her affinity for electrical engineering to mentor these students as well as our college-level women. She is a remarkable example of what girls can accomplish with a career in STEM!”
“There has been an energy of excitement as this is completely new at the elementary and middle school levels,” said Amanor-Boadu, who traveled to Ghana in November 2017. “The pilot program is being carried out at Christ the King International School in Accra, Ghana. The headmistress and teachers welcomed this idea and have helped to teach and encourage the students to take part in it.”
The one big problem is that interest from female students has been so overwhelming that some had to be turned away from the club. There just aren’t enough Lego robots for the girls to work on. As of now, there is only one Lego robot and 20 to 25 students are working on it.
“It is imperative that there is a pipeline to produce engineers who will design and develop devices, tools and solutions that influence communication, access to information and the provision of humanity’s basic needs,” Amanor-Boadu said.