FemEng at the Next Einstein Forum’s Africa Science Week

This past Saturday 10th June, the association of girls in architecture Akagoroba and the FemEng 2017 group represented the University of Rwanda at the Science Expo (celebrating Africa Science Week) organised by Next Einstein Forum in Kigali. Josephine Malonza, our supporting lecturer at UR was invited as an exhibitor. Here she tells us about the experience with the help of some great photographs of our team in action!

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The expo is a celebration of science and technology across Africa, and to encourage more citizens of various age groups to get involved and interested in science. We made the schoolchildren participate in a tower challenge, and gave FemEng stickers to the winning teams. Some schools also participated in mind-mapping of various exit careers from Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science etc. Our exhibition was to promote STEM especially to young girls.

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FemEng Rwanda 2016 t-shirt on display

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Tower Building Challenge! Adapted from Civil Engineering & Architecture workshop last year

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Annick Agasaro introducing the FemEng project to the girls are who won the Tower Challenge. Notice they already have FemEng stickers on their blouses.

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Olga Sebashyitsi explaining the Kigali wetland project and environmental planning. Too many questions from curious students of Lycee Notre Dame de Citeaux (a participating school in FemEng workshops in 2016)!

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Arthur of Zipline taking to FemEng girls. Zipline is one of the companies supporting our 2017 project and the team will visit their Muhanga firm during the workshops.

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Annick Agasaro, one of the FemEng 2017 project team wearing a new hat (UR Architecture) – I personally hope to model a biomedical engineer out of her, with the help of Ellen Simmons.

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The girls got creative and created ‘mind mapping’ of career options in STEM. Most of it was done with visiting schools at our tent.

Josephine has been working really hard along with the Rwandan teams to prepare for our visit, and we appreciate her tireless support. Exhibiting at this expo was a first for FemEng and it’s great for our peers to be working together prior to our arrival. We can’t wait to join them!

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T-19 days!

UR/High-School Team

The team in Rwanda have already started meeting together and getting to know one another, in addition to discussing concepts for our workshop and learning about last year from Josephine Malonza, the Architecture Lecturer from URwanda who brought this whole project together.

Currently, the student leaders in Kigali are looking at the schools in the area and deciding how to design our schedule to maximise our coverage! There are hundreds of possible schools for us to visit, so we have to make sure we are able to go to as many as possible in the four weeks we are together, with the goal to continue this work once the Glasgow team have returned home.

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The first meeting of our UR student team last week, with a smiling Josephine 3rd from the right!

This year, the entire team (Rwandan students and high-school pupils) will be housed next to the UR campus to allow for us to all spend more time together, less time commuting… and hopefully get more sleep! We look forward to bringing our teams together in a few weeks time and working alongside these leaders in STEM.

 

Next Einstein Forum’s Africa Science Week 

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The Rwandan side of our team are busy preparing for the Next Einstein Forum’s Science Expo, as part of their Africa Science Week, working alongside the UR women in architecture student group Akagoroba (which Josephine founded previously) to talk about our initiatives to bring more women into STEM. Members of our high-school team will be working on producing content to show the variety of careers which can emerge from STEM subjects and the UR students will have a chance to talk about their current subjects of interest, particularly environmental planning, renewable energy and rural electrification.

We are honoured to be invited to be a part of this event and look forward to hearing how the team enjoy presenting on the 10th June.

Read more about NEF Africa Science Week here!

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Most of the URwanda & High-School Team 2017 meeting to plan for the NEF Science Expo this week – spot the model of Kigali wetlands in the foreground, which will be used to demonstrate environmental planning on Saturday

 

Sponsorship from Great Wall-Subaru-Isuzu

We are pleased to announce our recent sponsorship from a branch of Great Wall-Subaru-Isuzu Motors!

Our sponsors are very valuable to us: but we would’t mind having some more! If you would be interested in sponsoring our project or donating funds to enhance our work, please email femengrwanda@gmail.com!

 

Upcoming Workshop: Ingenious Circuits with Proteus and RAEng

On the 14th June, the Ingenious Circuits teams from the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh are coming together to show us prototypes they have designed for us to take to Rwanda. We’ve seen some examples already and they look amazing!

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A sneaky peek at some materials used by the group for workshops around visualisation of lung disease

Learn more about the Proteus group here!

A big thanks to the UofG Social Media team who will be promoting our blog throughout the trip!

 

One month to go!

As the exam season has finished at Glasgow uni, we are buzzing with excitement to be done with our work and able to put our energies into preparations for our travels.

A few developments since our last post:

Travel

Our tickets to and from Rwanda are booked, so this is all set in stone! We discovered a direct flight from London Gatwick to Kigali, and we shall be travelling between the 27th June and 26th July. We are looking forward to a much shorter and easier travel itinerary!

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Sponsorship/Grants

For the second year running, we have received sponsorship from Western Ferries and IESIS, as well as receiving great support from the Chancellor’s Fund at the University of Glasgow again. We are so grateful for all this support, which allows us to create a really fruitful project. Saying this, any further support would be very welcome – we have not yet reached our target and would love to kick above last year’s! For more info please send us an email (femengrwanda@gmail.com).

A few of us also had a great time sharing our news with the Allan Glen’s School Club at their May lunch. We enjoyed learning about their new STEM Academy and talked abouts ways in which FemEng might work with them in the future.

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Workshops

We have confirmed that we will be running a workshop using the Ingenious Circuits, a UoG project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. These resources are educational electronic circuits which are being designed with teachers and pupils in mind, to aid in creating and nurturing interest in STEM amongst schoolchildren. We are so excited to be able to use the prototype resources in Rwanda! Dr. Melanie Jimenez is our contact for organising this, to whom we are very grateful.

We are also organised to visit our sponsors STAR Refrigeration, for them to show us an amazing workshop they have designed for us to take with us. This will demonstrate cooling in a simple way to schoolchildren. Thanks again to Andy Pearson and the Engineer’s Club at STAR for helping us to create what looks like a really interesting activity!

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Team

Our team in Kigali have been confirmed! We are currently being introduced to one another, and meeting in our respective locations until we will all be together in Rwanda. We are very thankful to Josephine Malonza, our assisting lecturer in UR, who has organised this all for us. A colourful schedule for this programme is definitely on the horizon!

Thank you all for your patience – we can’t wait to share the rest of our progress with you!

Kind regards,

The FemEng in Rwanda 2017 Team

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FemEng Rwanda Launch, 22nd March 2017

As our journey to Rwanda draws closer, our excitement grows. Our collaborators, supporters and friends (new and old of course) gathered at our launch event last Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, to cheer us on as we explored our vision and goals for the project.

It was indeed a good evening of canapés, drinks and networking with good representation from the University of Glasgow, industry and lovers of engineering.

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After a few minutes of meeting people, looking at posters from #FemEnginRwanda2016 and rehydrating, John Briggs, the international Dean for Africa at the University of Glasgow opened the event with some insight into Glasgow University’s collaborations and projects in Africa and the strength of FemEnginRwanda as a student-led programme .

Nina Richards, the outgoing president of FemEng shared the overall focus of the society and provided highlights and outcomes from the #FemEnginRwanda 2016 outreach. It was indeed great to hear about the journeys the girls on team from the 2016 project, from Rwanda and Glasgow, have taken since then.

Ellen Simmons, project manager for #FemEnginRwanda2017 proceeded by expounding on the exciting additions to the programme for this year. First is the enhancement of student development through a partnership with an African-based organisation, initiative for advancement of education in Africa (iaeAfrica); collaboration with AfriPads, a social business based in Uganda, to provide reusable sanitary pads to address practical problems menstruation poses to education; and a career-building alliance with Zipline, a company that uses drones to deliver medical supplies across Rwanda.

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Ellen also explained that unlike last year, boys will be admitted into the workshops to allow for inclusive access. She covered some practical needs and options for funding and supporting the project and the team this year ranging from financial resources. If this is an option you’re exploring, get in touch and let’s get planning!

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Written by Jumai Aboye (pictured, above right), PhD in Biomedical Engineering at University of Glasgow and FIR Team Member 2017

(Remember you can always get in contact with the team by emailing femengrwanda@gmail.com.)

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FemEng Rwanda 2017 Launch!

With a new team and planning well underway for the year, FemEng Rwanda are set to launch their project in 2017. We would love to see our supporters and collaborators on Wednesday 22nd March, 5-7pm in the Wolfson Medical Building so please see the invite below for details on how to come along!

 

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This year we have a number of exciting additions to our project and a wider range of disciplines and backgrounds to work with, and we are looking forward to showing how we plan to improve FemEng Rwanda equipped with the knowledge and experience taken from our previous year.

Keep an eye on the Facebook and Twitter for updates as well, otherwise we hope to see you on the 22nd.

 

FemEng Rwanda Team 2017

Here it goes again!

Last night saw the launch of our FemEng in Rwanda 2017 applications for the new team. This launch followed the appearance of the 2016 team at University of Glasgow’s TED Society “International Spotlight” event, where they received the opportunity to talk about our project and visions for the new year following our successful inaugural run.

Applications are accessible via the following link: FemEng Rwanda 2017 Application Form

Although applications are limited to University of Glasgow students, this year we are open to applications from disciplines aside from engineering, who believe they could be a valuable asset to the team. Evidently many of our tasks this year were not engineering-related – such as logistics and accounting – hence the decision to be less restrictive with our intake.

Additionally, we are planning on having a strong team “on the ground” in Glasgow, who would not travel to Kigali but would be on-hand to assist the travelling members of the team and available to help us with any necessary jobs in Glasgow whilst we are away.

Expect to see a mixture of old and new faces – many of the 2016 team are unable to travel to Kigali a seond time, but will remain involved in the planning. So get applying – the deadline is not until Friday 13th January 2017!

We have also had a video made about the project by Natasha Quinn from University of Glasgow Media Team. This video can be viewed by clicking the link below. We love it!

FemEng in Rwanda 2016 Promotional Video

Over the past few months we have re-connected with most of the schools that participated in the workshops in Rwanda, and received a number of positive emails indicating the gratitude of the staff and pupils. Many have found our social media pages and are really happy to see the photos of their school’s experience. We hope to maintain this contact until our return in summer 2017.

Looking forward to seeing the applications coming in – there are already a few – and the new team will be announced at the end of January 2017. Exciting times ahead!

GRAB Lunch: 1/11/16

Last week we were invited to present a short talk on FemEng in Rwanda amongst a couple of other speakers for a GRAB lunch focusing on Africa. GRAB events are informal working lunches for University staff to provide regional briefings on international partnership and recruitment activity.

Three of us went along to present – Nina Birchard, Christie Sherlock and Beck Hunter. The talk went well and we were all so thankful to have been given the opportunity to speak about our time in Africa and what we hoped for the future of the project. We had many warm responses and met with some fantastic people involved in working with Africa based projects.

Professor John Briggs, International Dean for Africa, and Katy Scott, Senior International Officer were the other two speakers. Professor John Briggs presented an overview of the Global Challenges Research Fund while Katy Scott discussed African Student Mobility Trends.

We were delighted to attend this event and talk about our experiences, watch the other presentations and gain further insight into the University’s relationship with Africa. The networking opportunity offered during this event also gave us some useful connections for the future.

Stay tuned for more updates from the team soon!

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Annual Report 2016

We’ve finally finished our Annual Report for this year, and are really happy to be able to share it with our supporters. Please email femengrwanda@gmail.com if you wish to request a copy! There are soft and hard copies available.

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In other news, an EDM (Early Day Motion) was recently lodged in the UK Parliament in support of our work: https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/500

Although these EDMs are not often brought into debate, it is amazing to know that our project has been publicised here and hopefully will bring in some further interest.

Half of the FemEng Glasgow Team were lucky enough to attend the IESIS James Watt Dinner 2016 last weekend, hosted by Karen Dinardo and featuring the new inductees to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame. Speakers included Sir Duncan Michael (Arup) and James Goodfellow, inventor of the ATM and PIN!

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Susan Scurlock of Primary Engineer was also awarded an Honourary Fellowship of IESIS, and the team were able to meet her daughter Jennifer who leads Primary Engineer activities in Scotland. Future collaborations are planned with FemEng and Primary Engineer working together to enhance the work of both organisations.

In Glasgow we will be holding an information session soon for individuals interested in joining the 2017 team, with applications before Christmas. Until then, the FemEng committee are pursuing their other initiatives in Scotland and Dublin.

 

FemEng in ScotParl: 28th Sep ’16

Months of anticipation and planning are over for our Holyrood Reception. In a beautiful setting surrounded by their supporters, the Glasgow team presented their work through photos and videos of the time in Rwanda, sharing real conversations and showing the true impact of this project.

dsc_5569dsc_5486copy-of-dsc_5471The audience were able to hear from each of us (bar Magda, who is currently in training for her new job in NYC), covering various aspects of the project, from descriptions of the workshops to a breakdown of their costs. The cultural dynamics of the teams were also discussed and we rounded the talks off with the plans for 2017. A key point to take from the presentation was that through the attention FemEng has received from the Rwanda project, activities in Glasgow have been enhanced, and a new branch of FemEng created in Dublin.

A detailed report of the FIR project so far will become available next week, giving more in-depth information that could not be covered during the presentations. This will be free to download and the instructions on how to do this will be posted at the time.

Special thanks first to CH2M, our first official sponsor of the project who kindly donated funds to assist with catering costs at both our launch event and this reception.

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Secondly, Sandra White MSP (Kelvin) who enabled us to host this event kindly opened the evening and subsequently lodged a Motion within the Scottish Parliament calling for commendation of the project.

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A great deal of encouragement was received from those who ventured out in the rain to see us, and we look forward to following up with the ideas that were shared that night. It is clear that the FemEng mission is definitely a worthy one, and can only grow into bigger and better things as time goes on.

Please direct any questions or suggestions to femengrwanda@gmail.com. Don’t forget about our Twitter and Facebook too!

Warm Regards from the FIR Glasgow Team 2016

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Countdown to Holyrood!

With just over a week until the FemEng Rwanda team present their work to a room full of their supporters, preparations are finishing up for the big day. Term has just begun for most of the group but they are working hard to make sure the evening runs smoothly. Expect exciting things!

A full report of the FemEng Rwanda journey will also be ready for public consumption, giving details about the project from beginning to present. This will be available in both hard and soft copy versions.

For anyone not registered yet, please let us know ASAP via our Eventbrite: femengrwandareception.eventbrite.co.uk

Further information on visiting the Scottish Parliament is available here: information_for_guests

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Please send us a message if you have any questions! We’re all so excited to be able to hold our reception in such a great venue and meet people who are interested in our work.

Regards,
The FemEng in Rwanda Team

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