11 January 2012: The Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium (CDPC) from NUI Maynooth launced the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition,Tanzania (YST) in Dublin on Tuesday 10th January.
Modeled on the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition Ireland, which will celebrate its 48th year next week, it is planned that the Young Scientist Exhibition Tanzania will replicate the hugely successful Irish initiative. One of the goals of the CDPC is to promote awareness of and interest in development issues among young people and to encourage them to undertake research for development. By improving teaching and research standards in the field of science and technology, it is anticipated that innovation and development practices will be advanced and this philosophy underpins the YST project in Tanzania.
Key to the success of the CDPC initiative is a high-level of engagement between Irish universities and secondary schools. It is envisioned that the YST will replicate such innovative partnerships, and may ultimately foster educational exchanges between Irish and Tanzanian secondary schools. As well as assisting in the development of the YST project, the CDPC will provide training for Tanzanian teachers including the provision of pioneering, low-cost scientific equipment called “lab-in-a-bag”. Portable and inexpensive, these bags contain equipment such as data-loggers and other scientific devices which will substitute a conventional lab and facilitate science and technology experiments.
As part of its mission to combat the spread of diseases of poverty, the CDPC provides short-term training to East African and Irish researchers. The CDPC also runs an extensive secondary school outreach programme, which aims to encourage engagement with development education issues in the Irish Secondary School System. YST has developed out of this highly successful outreach programme. It is a direct result of African researchers and scientists engaging with Irish Secondary Schools and observing first-hand the impressive results of the annual Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Ireland. The CDPC has partnered with Irish Aid and the Pearson Foundation, along with the Tanzanian government, to bring the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition to Tanzania.
Minister for Development and Trade Joe Costello, T.D., expressed support of the project, saying “This collaboration was born of the experience of Tanzanian students who came to Ireland, saw the success of the young scientist competition and realised the significant role it could play in their own country’s development.
“I am happy that Irish Aid - through our Embassy in Dar es Salaam - is supporting the efforts of CDPC and I warmly welcome the support of the Government of Tanzania for this project.”
Following the launch of the project, YST will be managed by CDPC Education Officer, Mr Joe Clowry of NUI Maynooth. The aim of the first year of YST is to exhibit some100 projects by secondary school pupils from across Tanzania.
According to Dr Noel Murphy and Dr Jamie Saris, Co-Chairs of CDPC Ireland, the YST exhibition represents a game change in overseas development aid, as it engages both the public and private sectors together with key Tanzanian stakeholders to foster innovative solutions to development issues.
The collaboration between the CDPC, Irish Aid and the Tanzanian government is a significant step towards building stronger ties with Tanzania. While Irish companies are looking to expand investments across Africa, Tanzania, seen as an important emerging market, is considered an important gateway to East Africa. Fostering innovation and development in Tanzania could have positive implications for trade and research links between Ireland and East Africa.
A delegation of officials from the Tanzanian government and university sector, including Dr. Raphael Mmasi of the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) and Mrs. Dorothy Mwaluko, Principal Education Officer at the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, attended Tuesday’s launch. They will also attend the BT Young Scientist Exhibition due to take place later in the week where they will observe first-hand the innovative potential of engaging young people in science and technology.
Ends 11 January 2012
Further information from:
Deirdre Watters +353 1 708 3363