Oct 19, 2022 – Girls Exploring STEM (GExS) has brought together 350 young women attending vocational schools on the island of Batam. The event, supported by the Caterpillar Foundation, Polytechnic Batam, and local government authorities has contributed to building the digital technology aspirations of young women. The two day event was opened by the Head of Education for the Province of Kepulauan Riau, Dr. Andi Agung, and attended by the Head of the Department of Labor for the City of Batam, Mr. Rudi Sakyakirti, the Director of Student Affairs and Alumni from Batam Polytechnic, Mr. Muhammad Zaenuddin, and the HR Manager from PT Caterpillar Indonesia Batam, Mr. Adam Prawahyudi. The Boot Camp was a culminating activity of the 2022 GExS initiative which had been operating in fifteen vocational schools throughout the year.
Involved in this Boot Camp were young female role models who excel in their own fields of digital technology. These included Lintang Gadis Ratu Rachellya, a manufacturing engineer from Caterpillar, Mutiara Anissa, a Biomedical Scientist and Science Communicator, Meigy Ulina, a Digital Products Manager, and Belianny Putri, Executive Recruitment for Geekhunter. These young STEM practitioner volunteers from Caterpillar and other businesses provided inspiration to the high school audience by relating their own experiences to the audience. Their engagement stimulated many questions at the end of each of the sessions. The Boot Camp has contributed to emphasizing the importance of attendees securing a digital technology knowledge and encourages them to further their studies or secure employment. The experiential exposure to coding, computational skills, experience with AR, and utilization of VR has created a foundation upon which young women can further their understanding.