Post-war reconstruction and youth engagement: Serhiy Tokarev shares 2023 outcomes for STEM is FEM

Picture of the logo for Stem Fem

Image: Stem Fem

In 2023, the Ukrainian educational project STEM is FEM received 4,000 applications to participate in activities promoting STEM disciplines among girls. This information was shared by the project’s initiator, IT entrepreneur, and investor Serhiy Tokarev. Last year, STEM is FEM implemented the educational course “Urbanism” and developed a series based on it for the national platform Diia.Osvita. The project also launched the podcast “Science: Women’s Voices” and organised a two-day educational module “Light Industry.”

During the past year, the project focused on urban planning, post-war reconstruction, and the involvement of Ukrainian youth in these endeavors. The project team believes that to restore the devastated Ukrainian cities, one needs to engage citizens of diverse genders, ages, and experiences. According to the team, only by engaging individuals from various backgrounds, it will be possible to create comfortable and inclusive spaces.

“The team is actively working to ensure that as many citizens as possible gain knowledge about urban planning: understanding what our cities are like and what they can become, what aspects are worth preserving, and what needs improvement. With a significant task ahead in the post-war reconstruction of the country, it is crucial already now to engage the younger generation in restoring Ukrainian cities,” shares Tokarev.

In 2023, STEM is FEM implemented an educational course “Urbanism”. Over four months, 50 girls delved into the fundamentals of urban planning and architecture. At the same time, they developed their projects for the reconstruction of public spaces in three war-torn Ukrainian cities: Ichnia, Trostyanets, and Okhtyrka.

In April 2023, participants in the “Urbanism” course presented their works. The top ten projects were refined by a team of professionals and proposed for implementation on-site. Furthermore, three of the course graduates underwent an internship at Urban Reform NGO, which allowed them to study the history of Okhtyrka, engage with the local community, and contribute to research for the city’s master plan development.

After completing the educational course, STEM is FEM has crafted an educational series “Urbanism”, initiated by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. The series is available on Diia.Education. The 17 episodes explain different topics, such as the study of cities and responsible citizenship, post-war reconstruction, the shaping of public spaces, inclusivity, and innovative construction projects.

Urban planning is not the only theme the project delved into in 2023. In September, STEM is FEM, in collaboration with the women’s lingerie brand brabrabra, conducted an educational module “Light Industry”. This module became the first one since the onset of the full-scale invasion. 30 participants listened to motivational speeches and insights from industry experts, studied the design and clothing production, and even developed their lingerie collections.

According to Elizaveta Korenko, the head of the project, today, experts in the fields of science and technology are concerned about the shortage of personnel in these industries. However, there are still only a few initiatives encouraging young people to pursue STEM disciplines.

“To have highly qualified professionals tomorrow, we need to provide them with knowledge today. The shortage of experts does not occur at the point of employment—it arises when the youth does not pursue specific fields of study. That is why it is crucial for us to create educational initiatives for schoolgirls and students, and to inform them about STEM professions—areas where women are underrepresented,” emphasises Elizaveta.

To highlight the contribution of women in science, STEM is FEM and the online media Speka have launched “Science: Women’s Voices”, a podcast about female researchers. In its episodes, the hosts and invited expert guests discuss notable female scientists and delve into their professional and personal journeys.

Serhiy Tokarev is convinced that technological progress is only possible through a diversity of perspectives and experiences. Therefore, it is crucial to create a tech environment conducive to women.

“Encouraging women to pursue STEM specialties is not just about equality but also about innovation and sustainable development. We can achieve true progress only by working together. Therefore, we are all interested in encouraging girls to enter the fields of science and technology,” emphasises the project’s initiator.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Guest Writer