The Africa Scientifique (AS) Programme provides students with an opportunity to put into practice, during six months post-Workshop Project Support (Phase 3), the science communication knowledge and skills gained from its (AS) three-day Workshop (Phase 2).
The students are usually expected to design, deliver and evaluate their public engagement and outreach activities with mentoring support from the AIMS House of Science and African Gong.
Here are a few samples of science communication projects from the 2020 and 2021 cohorts of the AS programmes that took place at AIMS South Africa.
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The project activities demonstrate students’ creativity, innovation, leadership, empowerment and the impact of the programme in terms of how mathematics can be used to address societal challenges. They (activities) further illustrate
the diversity of public audiences (particularly the hard-to-reach and/or neglected), geographical locations, goals for communicating, mathematical themes or concepts, engagement platforms, formats and tools, use of African indigenous languages, and range of topics inspired by African socio-economic and cultural challenges. Most importantly, the project activities demonstrate that young African researchers are willing to engage with public audiences, and if they are equipped with the necessary skills, their potential to be well-rounded scientists who can contribute to science communication advancement and footprint on the continent could be realised. The students also shared their learning outcomes, insights and knowledge from the ‘hands-on’ experiences and ongoing science engagement intentions and challenges they faced during the project activities delivery process, from enrolment to engendering trust and impact in their target audience.