Sentinus Young Innovators 2010
The CDPC congratulates Thomas Dunne of Colaiste Lorcain on winning the University of Ulster Award for ICT in Science at the Sentinus Young Innovators 2010 in the Odyssey Arena. Thomas won the award for his project on malaria (see CDPC newsletter no. 7, Jan-March 2010, p.3).
Congratulations also to Laura Dunne and Paula Redmond on winning the Women in Science and Engineering Award at the same exhibition. The aim of their project was to make a ready to use food (RUF) bar of high nutritional value containing a probiotic which could be helpful to people living with HIV and AIDS and who are taking anti-retroviral treatment (ART).
The Sentinus Young Innovators Exhibition is the biggest science fair of its type in the whole of the UK, providing a showcase for students to demonstrate the wealth of creativity and innovation which exists in Northern Ireland schools and colleges.
Celebrating the achievements of young people, the unique event showcases innovative projects in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Northern Ireland Education Minister Caitríona Ruane attended the Sentinus Young Innovators Exhibition in the Odyssey, Belfast. Caitríona Ruane said:
Once again the schools here at the Young Innovators Exhibition have out done themselves. The talent and creativity of our children and young people never fails to impress me. I want to congratulate all those involved, as one of the largest events of its kind; it is an opportunity to showcase the innovation and ingenuity in our schools. It also offers teachers the chance to meet, share ideas and best practice, a benefit to all.”
It is vital that we continue to promote STEM subjects in our schools and I especially welcome the number of primary schools involved here. We need to engage our children at the earliest opportunity and open them up to the fact that these subjects are interesting and fun. My Department places a significant emphasis on promoting STEM subjects and ensuring they are embedded in our curriculum. The revised curriculum offers teachers greater opportunity to explore these subjects while the Entitlement Framework will guarantee all post-primary pupils, aged 14 and above, greater choice and flexibility in choosing subjects.”
Chairman of Sentinus, Jim Stewart, added:
“The Young Innovators Exhibition has, over the years, become the main innovation event of schools and colleges here. It is a fantastic opportunity for pupils of all ages to showcase their innovative STEM projects and to get the recognition their talents deserve. This year’s event has been tremendously well supported. More than 2,500 pupils, teachers and parents attended the Odyssey Arena, which is a great endorsement of STEM and the strong talent and skill base that exists here. From what I have witnessed today I have the upmost confidence that the young scientists and innovators that have displayed their work will play a major role in our future economic success."
Spotlight on... Richard Forde's training in Kisumu, Kenya
We arrived in Nairobi on Wednesday the 9th of June to be greeted by a swarm of locusts. They were everywhere, all over the runway, on the outside of the plane and even found one trying to share my drink and snack on the flight to Kisumu! Full of protein, they are supposedly good to nibble on... I declined and stuck to the nuts!
Visiting the laboratory for the first time, we were introduced to the staff who gave us a warm “karibu” (Swahili for welcome) to Kisumu and all seem willing to offer advice or help if needed. The laboratory is well equipped by any standards, which will be a great help to us in the practical element to our projects. The lab is neighboured by the children’s hospital which was opened by Barack Obama (that guy again) when he was senator in 2007.
My Swahili is coming on a treat. I know all the essentials: sasa (now), asante (thanks) poa (don’t really know what this means but I’m saying it for everything), niko sawa (no, jaysis, I’m grand) and Tusker (Kenyan beer)."
To read more about the CDPC trainees' experiences in Africa, visit the Blog section.
Spotlight on... Joseph Erume
Joseph Erume is a lecturer in Veterinary Microbiology at Makerere University, Uganda, and trained with the CDPC between February and May 2010. The following is an excerpt from one of Joseph's recent blogs on his training experience:
On the 17th March 2010 we had a wonderful meeting with the young Irish Teacher Trainees who will be going to teach in schools in Uganda and Ghana this June. This was at NUIM South Campus. My thanks Joe Clowry for organizing this event. It was such an eventful meeting. Had lunch together with the students and went forward to discuss with the students about the Ugandan culture, how the teaching profession is held over in Uganda and what they should expect when they arrive. I liked the organization, it was interactive and cordial.
All the four current CDPC trainees were present and we were also privileged to meet one Ugandan student who is currently in Dublin for his Masters. We shared and talked freely about Ugandan (East African) peoples and more especially their incredibly diverse cultures and welcoming nature. I am so excited to see these Irish student teachers come and interact and inspire our teachers and students in Uganda. Many thanks for CDPC for this twinning arrangement and it’s my wish that it prospers from strength to strength.
To read more about the CDPC trainees' experiences in Dublin and East Africa, visit the Blog section.
Obituary: Dr. Emmanuel Kafwembe
The Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium is deeply saddened to hear of the untimely death of our good friend, colleague, and founding partner of the Consortium, Dr. Emmanuel Kafwembe. Emmanuel recently had a brain tumour removed, but after his discharge from hospital, he was taken ill with malaria and died on Monday night, 17th May 2010.
Emmanuel was highly valued by everyone in the CDPC for his wisdom, knowledge, enthusiasm, and humanitarianism. He has been an important part of the successes we have enjoyed over the past couple of years, and we were looking forward to establishing even stronger links in Zambia in the future through his efforts.
We in the CDPC are committed to Emmanuel’s legacy through developing the important work that he has begun in helping young people to achieve their potential and to contributing to the development of a more equal World.
If you would like to send a message of condolence to Emmanuel’s family please email Hayley Coristine or post your message on the CDPC website below this post. We will collate all messages and forward these to his children. Current messages can be viewed here.
Obituary: Dr. E. Kafwembe
Dr Emmanuel M. Kafwembe was a Nutritional Biochemist who trained in Ireland between 1978 and 1980 at Kevin Street College of Technology in Clinical Chemistry and later undertook his PhD studies at the University of Salford. His main research interest was micro-nutrient deficiency disorders and he successfully conducted many community-based studies of vitamin A and the impact of various disease states such as HIV infection and malaria on vitamin A status. During his distinguished career of over 33 years with the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) he rose from the position of technologist in 1977 to director in 2002. Dr. Kafwembe’s knowledge and expertise was in high demand and as such he served as a consultant for the National Food and Nutrition Commission, the National Laboratory Policy Development and Implementation committees as well as a technical advisor to a vitamin A supplementation committee funded by USAID. He was a member of the National Health Research Advisory Committee, chairman of the subcommittee on research in traditional medicine especially as it applies to malaria and a Board member of the Zambia Forum for Health Research (ZAMFOHR), a body formed to provide a forum to scientists to express their research activities as well as develop a national data-base of these activities..
As a scientist and a manager Dr Kafwembe interacted with many young African scientists and therefore came to understand and appreciate the problems they face in their work. He was a member of the consortium to oversee the implementation of the Contact Point Network (CPN) Africa project, an EU-funded project aimed at attracting Young African Scientists to participate in EU funded research projects addressing Poverty-Related Diseases. This project in which Dr. Kafwembe served as a Regional Contact Point (RCP) for the Southern African Region grew in stature within a short time and a new generation of young scientists in the region owe a great debt to Dr. Kafwembe for its success. In 2007 Dr. Kafwembe was involve in establishing the Poverty-Related Diseases College which is an a virtual institute and a network that connects young African and European biomedical scientists and their institutions towards consolidating science and its role in the overall development of Africa.
In addition to his distinguished scientific career Dr. Kafwembe was a lay preacher in the United Church of Zambia and a church elder at St Andrews Congregation. Members of the community remember him as a humble and down-to-earth person who helped to build the community. Dr. Kafwembe is survived by his three children to whom we offer our sincere condolences.