Serhii Tokarev about STEM is FEM’s Contribution in 2023

STEM is FEM is one of the Ukrainian educational projects that has encouraged girls to step into science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines. The project has contributed significantly to the development of Ukrainian IT, especially during the war in the country. It held various activities in 2023. Serhii Tokarev, the initiator of STEM is FEM, reviewed the outcomes of the project last year.

In 2023, STEM is FEM aimed at involving Ukrainian girls in urban planning and post-war reconstruction. Serhii Tokarev noted that they received 4,000 applicants willing to participate in their activities.  The project team believed engaging citizens of diverse genders, ages, and experiences was a great idea to restore the devastated Ukrainian cities. Individuals with different backgrounds could bring up 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,” comments Tokarev.

The significant course of STEM is FEM was “Urbanism.” It attracted 50 girls who delved into urban planning and architecture fundamentals. The participants could develop projects from their own perspectives to reconstruct public spaces in three war-torn Ukrainian cities: Ichnia, Trostyanets, and Okhtyrka.

In April 2023, the course’s participants presented their works. As a result of the project, the experts picked the top ten projects, which they modified and implemented on-site.

According to Serhii Tokarev, three graduates of the course gained an opportunity to intern at Urban Reform NGO. This allowed girls to get familiar with the history of Okhtyrka, engage with the local community, and contribute to research for the city’s master plan development.

Afterwards, the course was completed, STEM is FEM launched an educational series, “Urbanism.” Such an initiative was promoted by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and the series is available on Diia.Osvita. The series contains 17 episodes revealing different topics about the study of cities and responsible citizenship, post-war reconstruction, the shaping of public spaces, inclusivity, and innovative construction projects.

STEM is FEM didn’t stand at one point and soon, in September 2023, launched another project in cooperation with the women’s lingerie brand brabrabra. Serhii Tokarev underlined that thirty participants joined the education module “Light Industry.” They listened to motivational speeches and insights from industry experts, studied design and clothing production, and even developed their lingerie collections.

Another STEM is FEM’s contribution was reinforced by the joint cooperation with the online media Speka. They launched “Science: Women’s Voices,” a podcast where the hosts and invited expert guests discuss female researchers.