IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme: training session at the University of Pretoria and launch in South Africa

18 Nov 2019

The IVVN and Dr Nicola Stock and Jayne Quoiani of Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) visited the University of Pretoria, South Africa to host a second IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme training session, after the successful implementation of the outreach programme in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

The training session, on 28 and 29 October 2019, brought together seven scientists from University of Pretoria, Makerere University and Addis Ababa University. During the session, Dr Nicola Stock and Jayne Quoiani provided training on schools engagement, introduced the scientists to the mobile laboratory in a suitcase, and trained the scientists on how to deliver a workshop on Rabies vaccination.

Following the training session, the team visited Prestige College on 30 October 2019, and the newly trained scientists delivered the workshop to a group of students aged 15-16 years old.

During the workshop, students learned how to use a micropipette and then performed experiments in groups of four to find out the percentage of dogs that had received a Rabies vaccine. Students then had the opportunity to ask the seven scientists hosting the workshop about their careers, what inspired them to become a scientist, and what a typical day as a scientist entails.

One of the students, Lesedi Hale, said, “My experience today was one I will never forget. I learned many things about science – a subject I thought was uninteresting. Now I am starting to question my career choices based on today’s demonstration. Who knew that science can be cool?”

Another student, Buhle Mazibuko, said, “Today was very informative. As a learner who is approaching university, such occasions help me to decide on what I want to be when I grow up and what I find interesting. I am very grateful for this scientific experience. I learnt a lot and I got many of my questions answered, and I think I might have even found my career.”

Following the success of the training session and workshop at Prestige College, the second phase of the IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme will be implemented across schools in South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Follow the progress of the project on our Twitter account (@IntVetVaccNet) and using the hashtag #InspiringFutureScientists.

For enquiries regarding the IVVN African Schools Outreach Programme, please contact the IVVN Network Manager, Dr Carly Hamilton, at IVVN [at] roslin [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk.