NMIMR and Vacation Initiatives in Science, Africa (VISA) Inspire Young Minds At STEM Fair

The University of Ghana's Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), in collaboration with Vacation Initiatives in Science, Africa (VISA), has successfully organised a four-day 'Science in Tents '23' STEM fair, catering to Junior High School (JHS) students.

The engaging event was designed to ignite enthusiasm for science among the young learners, guiding them toward enlightened career decisions while providing hands-on experience in scientific practices.

In her address to the participants, Prof. Dorothy Yeboah-Manu, Director of the Institute, extended a warm welcome to the attendees at Noguchi. Prof. Yeboah-Manu underscored the paramount significance of science education in today's rapidly evolving world, accentuating how it nurtures a keen interest in the world around us. She urged students to approach their science education with earnestness.

The Director stressed the manifold opportunities that STEM fields offer, praising its collaborative essence. She also addressed the often perceived challenges of mathematics, reassuring students that consistent practice can surmount such hurdles.

Prof. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, Dean of the School of Engineering Sciences, joined in welcoming the students and highlighted that the School is celebrating its 20th anniversary alongside the University's 75th anniversary. She commended the students for their active participation, emphasising the pivotal roles of exploration and discovery at this formative stage of their lives.

While encouraging the young students to utilise the platform to identify their strengths, passions, and future aspirations, Prof. Kaufmann prompted them to contemplate the impact they aspire to make on the world, suggesting that their current explorations could shape their contributions.

A Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Parasitology (NMIMR), Dr. Anita Ghansah, who also spoke at the event, emphasised the crucial role of science in both daily life and the future. She motivated students to actively engage in the fair's activities, stressing the importance of critical thinking.

Dr. Ghansah further encouraged students to question, explore, and apply their newfound knowledge to address real-world issues.

Miss Odei-Amoani, Founder of STEM Inclusion Ghana and STEM Ambassador Ghana, shared her inspiring journey into STEM and how it is a practical, tangible part of daily life. She stressed the significance of embracing science and technology, particularly with the rise of AI and robotics.

Miss Odei-Amoani encouraged students, especially young girls, to make their learning practical and explore the world of science. She envisioned emerging high-paying careers and urged students to read widely and cultivate a strong interest in STEM areas.

Earlier, Mr. Solomon Agbozo Bedu, Founding Member and Director in Charge of Finance at VISA, in declaring the purpose of the gathering, highlighted the organisation’s mission to promote practical STEM education in Ghana and Africa, especially among underprivileged school children. He provided insights into VISA's vision of ensuring quality practical STEM education for every child and applying STEM knowledge to address significant human challenges.

The fair witnessed the enthusiastic participation of students from several schools, including Airport Police Primary &JSHS, Amrahia AdMA JHS, Nkurakan Basic School, Labone S.D.A. JHS, 37 Military Hospital Basic, Nungua A.M.A. Basic schools, PRESEC Staff Basic Schools, Burma Camp JHS, Queens Court School, Hope Valley Academy, Ashaley Botwe Sowa Din Cluster of Schools, and Nungua A.M.A. Basic schools. Exhibitors from distinguished institutions like the School of Engineering Sciences, UG; NMIMR, UG; Velthuis Lab, Princeton University (USA); MakersPlace, Ghana; Laboratory of Applied Evolutionary Biology, University of Amsterdam Medical Centre; Institute of Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh (UK); and Femafricamaths, Ghana, added a rich tapestry of learning experiences to the fair.

A featured networking session after the fair provided an opportunity for students to connect with the fair's organisers. The event was attended by students, faculty members, and other esteemed members of the University Community.