13/7/2017: IFAK

In the morning, some of our team went to visit the Radisson Blu Convention Centre, an iconic piece of Rwandan architecture (and engineering!). They also visited the Inema Arts Centre, where modern art is displayed and local artists were able to talk about their work. The Rwandan culture is beautifully reflected in the pieces of artwork and gave the girls a cultural injection before our school visit in the afternoon.

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(The rest of us slept – Wednesday was a busy day!)

In the afternoon we had a last-minute booking for IFAK Don Bosco in Kimihurura. We were only given a short window of 50 minutes in which to give our workshops, but we managed to get through around 100 children! Despite having a good amount of rowdy boys, there were equal amounts of engagement from everyone – especially towards the Biomedical Engineering stands, where there was a great deal of conversation around Tissue and Cell Engineering; not a common topic to speak about extensively at these workshops. There was a particular group of young men who were fascinated about the concept of being able to replace their own heart by growing stem cells on a pig’s decellularised heart!

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Another highlight from this school visit was that the pupils were very determined to participate in FemEng Rwanda in some way. We are positive that the continuing student club in UR will facilitate the formation of STEM clubs within schools – it is great that we are inspiring establishment of groups even on a high school level, in addition to student groups within the university. By taking the contact details of interested high school pupils, the UR student group are able to reconnect with these individuals to follow-up with their ideas!

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Tomorrow we have another careers session from Jumai for the Rwandan girls, and visiting another school in the afternoon. We will also create a workshop based on Zipline and link it with Aeronautical Engineering. It’s been a tiring week, but very interesting and we are feeling productive!

 

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