Empowering Future Scientists: IVVN Hosts a Week-Long Outreach Programme in Nigeria
The International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN) African School Outreach Programme (ASOP) team hosted an impactful week-long Outreach Programme in Nigeria, spanning from 17-22 June 2023. The programme aimed to foster a passion for scientific knowledge among students, develop their skills, and involve and engage communities.
The week commenced with a training session where new volunteer scientists were introduced to the core principles and objectives of the outreach programme, ensuring they were well-prepared and aligned with the programme’s mission. The training went beyond theoretical discussions, actively involving volunteers in hands-on activities to familiarise themselves with state-of-the-art equipment and materials essential for the outreach program.
The first school visit took place on 19 June at Ojoo High School in Alaka, Ibadan. Representing diverse expertise and experience, scientists introduced themselves to eager students, emphasising the importance of academics and nurturing a passion for science. Dr Esther Kanduma, in her heartfelt speech, encouraged students to explore the wonders of science. The main laboratory activities kicked off immediately after the introductions, with 129 enthusiastic female students engaging in interactive experiments and practical demonstrations, bringing scientific theories to life.
Continuing their mission to inspire and educate, the team of scientists also visited Immanuel College in Ibadan on Tuesday, Community Grammar School in Mokola on Wednesday, and Baptist Academy, University of Ibadan on Thursday. Despite weather challenges affecting the customary assembly address at Baptist Academy on the last day, the training laboratory remained abuzz with activity.
The four-day outreach programme left an indelible mark, impacting 503 students through intensive laboratory training and engaging approximately 2,000 students during assembly sessions across the four visited schools. The resounding positive feedback and appreciation from students underscored the programme's success in fostering curiosity and enthusiasm for science. The impact of this programme is expected to resonate through the schools, shaping the paths of aspiring young scientists.