Kyerewaa Akuamoah Boateng
The West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) senior high school outreach project is an annual public engagement event organised in furtherance of the Centre’s goal of promoting science education, and appreciation among students, especially females. Every year, under-resourced high schools in each region in Ghana are selected to enable researchers to share their research activities and showcase equipment and experiments not readily available in these schools.
Over 4000 students have participated in this project. This provides a platform for engagement mainly for Science students in high schools and introduces them to careers in Science and to study options beyond senior high school level. Research scientists lead students in each school in interactive learning sessions, explaining science and infectious pathogens in clear terms through storytelling, videos, presentations, and pictures to engage students and their teachers. Buruli ulcer and other viruses are among the infectious pathogens that the students learn about. Hands-on training sessions in microscopy also allow students to analyse and discuss the diagnosis of diseases like malaria using Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits. Students visualise most of the microorganisms they have heard of for the first time. To motivate and inspire female students to pursue science, they are connected with outstanding role models from WACCBIP.
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Kyerewaa Akuamoah Boateng, Public Engagement Officer, West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP)
Kyerewaa Akuamoah Boateng is a community development professional and a Science communicator. She supports and works with research Scientists at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) as the Public Engagement Officer. She coordinates public and community engagement activities across Ghana and leads several initiatives that seek to bring Science closer to communities. Kyerewaa is also the project coordinator for the Public Engagement for strengthening a genetics research project which engages students with hearing impairment, their families and researchers to guide in the development of a documentary drama to influence the public in taking part in genetic research. This is the first of its kind in Africa. She also spearheads a Senior High School outreach project that engages over 1000 students every year. She, jointly with the WACCBIP secretariat, conducts training workshops in community engagement and communication for research fellows and other stakeholders. With her deep knowledge in communication, she writes articles and stories for the WACCBIP website and coordinates communication documents like videos for the public. She is a Community Development masters student at Wisconsin University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Political Science with English) from the University of Ghana.