February 09, 2018

"We are creating a powerful generation of women in STEM"

Maryanne Mumbi Muriuki (in grey shirt) with the Head of the Austrian Space Forum, Dr Gernot Groemer and Olivia Haider, also of the Austrian Space Forum

Photo credit: University of Nairobi

Maryanne Mumbi Muriuki

Global Youth Ambassador from Kenya

For International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, we asked our Global Youth Ambassadors to share their stories.

I have a background in disaster and space science, technology and education.

My passion for science started in primary school. Our primary school teacher always told us that the next doctor or engineer would be from our generation - and we all had the key to solving Africa’s problems. 

For a long time it seemed unusual to have women in science. Over the last 10 years or so, this has changed. 

Kenya is a science hub in Africa and this revolution has been spearheaded by women initiatives such as Ushahidi by Ory Okolloh, the Akira Chix, Juliana Rotich of BRCK and Susan Murabana of the Travelling Telescope. Rural areas are becoming ever more exposed to technology dynamics. 

I serve as the co-National Point of Contact (NPoC) for Kenya for the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). The SGAC presents its recommendations to the United Nations Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). 

SGAC Kenya organises space science meet-ups and events, in collaboration with other institutions, to sensitise young people on the use of space for the benefit of humankind.

Maryanne attending the Space Generation Congress in Australia in September

I have also served as a co-lead for the Space Technologies for Disaster Management (STDM) Project Group of SGAC. Additionally, I served on the organising team for the global Space Generation Congress (SGC) and as the co-event manager for the inaugural African Space Generation Workshop (AF-SGW) in Nigeria. 

Young people from Africa presented their initiatives on empowering school children in space science through coding (Nigeria), robotics (Nigeria) and arts (Mauritius).

I am the founder of the Nyandarua Orbit Space Club movements in my hometown. Here, we engage pupils through traditional storytelling and reading science books together. 

In 2017 I did volunteering for “Science Hour” at a local ECD centre. When teachers and the community come together for science, it is inspiring and encourages me to push forward. 

I feel a sense of satisfaction that, through my small contributions, we are creating a powerful generation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and a generation of men who appreciate and value the contribution of women in science.

Read our other stories for International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Teaching breast cancer awareness in Pakistan

Research into post-injection disability in Uganda

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