Profound achievements of Café Scientifique
The Cafe Scientifique-Woman in-person Cafe welcomed 52 female participants from various fields such as biological science, physical science, agricultural science, earth science, applied mathematics, science education, management science and language studies.
The program was divided into the Introductory session, trending topical session and mentor match up session. The introductory session was moderated by the initiator of Cafe Scientifique-Woman, Chioma Ibiam Aja, the trending topic of discussion “Mobility for Plant Genomics in accelerating smart adaptation options and food security in Africa was” was handled by Prof. Happiness Oselebe (Deputy Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University) whilst the Match Up session had the girls interacting with STEM lecturers and counsellors.
From the post event survey, over 50% of the girls were hearing of plant genomics for the first time, over 90% of them had never accessed a platform for networking and mentorship for women in STEM, 35% were interested and willing to apply for the opportunities shared by the guest speaker and 100% were willing to attending the next Cafe.
This Cafe was carried out in partnership with Ebonyi State University, Faculty of Management Sciences, Centre for Crop Improvements, Nutrition and Climate Change, and News Agency of Nigeria. The goal for the in-person Cafes are to enable young girls/women meet fellow girls/women in STEM, meet mentors in STEM, learn of global STEM trends and opportunities and connect with collaborators for research and development outputs.
Cafe Scientifique-Woman Training (Mechanized Farming): 10 girls/women from Cafe Scientifique-Woman were engaged in a hands on “Tractor Operation training and workshop for Mechanized Farming”. The girls were chosen as a result of improving their career in Agricultural Sciences through a survey from the in-person Cafe. All 10 of them had never attended a mechanized farming workshop or operated a tractor prior the experience. They learnt about new farming techniques for some of the most common crops in Nigeria (rice, yam tubers, cassava tubers, pepper and maize). This program was was organized through the partnership of Tractor on the Go (Uber Tractor company) and USAID.
Cafe Scientifique-Woman Science Debates
This program uses debate as a tool for audience (public) enlightenment and engagement i.e bringing society and science closer, improve the research and critical thinking skills of young women in STEM, broaden knowledge scope of debaters and audience on the topical issues and teach young women in STEM on how to present evidence-based arguments/dialogues. The debate follows a one on one speech style with a 100 points scale judging criteria. The judges usually have either a STEM background (Academia, Entrepreneur or professional) or a Debate track record. So far, we have recorded participation from10 young girls from 4 different Universities covering 7 different states and 4 geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Aja Chioma Ibiam,
the recipient of Learn Africa Canarias scholarship
In the course of the months as Initiator of Cafe Scientifique-Woman, she has been a facilitator for a Teachers Training Debate Bootcamp called Global Great Debaters Nigeria (a partnership with Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Adesso Development Initiative, Royal Rhetorics and Ebonyi News Network), received a Learn Africa Canarias scholarship from la Fundación Mujeres for África and became a Falling Walls Foundation Engage Pitches Finalist.
This award was presented due to my contributions towards the transformation of the Ebonyi State University Ecosystem through planting of both economic and ornamental trees over the past 18 months.