The four winners of Mali’s first ever Miss Science competition have been announced: Rokia Moussa, Moumira Aoufi, Mariam Berthé, and Mariam Diarra. They will each become ambassadors in their respective schools to encourage their peers to engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
“The Miss Science competition encouraged me to study and appreciate scientific subjects even more than I did before”
Eighty of the best female students from 20 national academies were selected to compete and all received school kits, tablets, computers and mobile phones during the awards ceremony in Bamako, offered by the Ministries of National Education, Higher Education and Promotion of Women.
The initiative was a joint effort between the Malian government and UNESCO through its Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme, to encourage girls to pursue STEM subjects, advocate for access and to celebrate young girls’ achievements in scientific disciplines.
During an interview with eleven-year-old Coulibaly Seydou, who took part in the competition, she talks about her enthusiasm surrounding the event. She tells us that her favourite subject is mathematics, as she wants to pursue a scientific career as a mining engineer. She said that, “the Miss Science competition encouraged me to study and appreciate scientific subjects even more than I did before” and that she believes “these types of competitions help girls peruse scientific subjects by encouraging them”. When asked why she thought it is important for girls to study STEM subjects Seydou said, “Because scientific subjects are important for the country’s development.”