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African schools outreach scheme on prize shortlist

Programme of workshops to engage African girls with science in the running for Nature Research Award

The Roslin team with the IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme team.
The Roslin team with the IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme team.

An outreach programme involving Roslin experts that aims to inspire young girls to join the next generation of scientists has been shortlisted for a 2020 Nature Research Award.

The International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN)’s African Schools Outreach Programme, which supports African women scientists to deliver inspirational science outreach workshops for school pupils, is among contenders for the Inspiring & Innovating Science award, in the Scientific Outreach category.

The public engagement team at the Roslin Institute received support from the programme to develop a schools workshop and deliver training and equipment to female scientists from seven African countries.

High school girls conducted the Rabies Lab experiment.
High school girls conducted the Rabies Lab experiment.

Supporting women

The Nature Research Awards’ Scientific Outreach category highlights initiatives that support girls or young women to engage with and pursue science, technology, engineering and/or maths (STEM) subjects, or which increase the retention of women in STEM.

The winner, to be announced in October, will receive a grant of more than US$35,000 for activities and will have access to mentoring opportunities hosted by Nature and The Estée Lauder Companies.

Training and school workshops

The African Schools Outreach Programme is a collaborative project involving partners based in the UK and Africa.  

The schools outreach workshop focuses on the importance of animal vaccines to prevent devastating diseases affecting the livestock on which millions of African livelihoods depend.

Pupils learn how to perform experiments using the “Lab in a Suitcase” provided by the project, and have the opportunity to ask questions of the scientists running the workshop.

To date, the programme has reached more than 200 pupils across Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and South Africa, and will be implemented in schools in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Uganda.

All of the women scientists we worked with in Africa were so passionate about the importance of education in providing the best future for pupils, and the importance of highlighting careers in science for girls. We’re delighted that the IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme has been shortlisted for this prestigious award.

Dr Nicola StockPublic Engagement with Research Manager, the Roslin Institute

** The Roslin Institute receives strategic investment funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and it is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. **

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