As South Africans come to grips with the national lockdown, and the challenges it brings with it, there will be a need for more digital education tools for learners moving forward.

Answering that call is Mastercard, which launched its new Girls4Tech Connect website aimed at helping young girls interesting in STEM subjects.

Mastercard explains that the programme has been designed to help parents and teachers engage with students, from ages eight to 12.

The programme offers free to download online courses, with Mastercard getting assistance from its education partner, Scholastic, in order to launch the site, as well as learn remotely.

“These activities are built on global science and maths standards – and incorporate Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation – to enable children to discover a range of STEM careers, such as Fraud Detective, Data Scientist and Software Engineer,” Mastercard notes about the programme in a press release sent to Hypertext.

This newly launched website is the latest tool that the payments facilitator has brought to the fore for young girls interested in STEM, having begun its Girls4Tech initiative six years ago.

Having taught 800 000 kids across the globe and more than 1000 locally, the firm’s first local programme of 2020 involved Phoenix College in Johannesburg, where it reached 110 girls aged between nine and 11.

“We know that these are challenging times for parents and teachers on many fronts and hope that these learning resources are a fun way to engage and inspire kids about STEM while at home,” says Suzanne Morel, country manager for Mastercard South Africa.

“The easy access to the website enhances what we’ve done in so many workshops in South Africa. We look forward to building on both efforts when it’s once again safe to gather in person,” she concludes.