To enhance their future prospects, Ghanaian female high school students have been urged to explore career prospects in the brain-related and neuroscience professions, and also to sustain their interest in STEM education beyond the high school level.
Chief Operating Officer of GH Scientific, Dr. Thomas Tagoe made the call on March 5 in a welcome address to participants at the 2022 Neurogirl Camp held at the University of Ghana Medical School, Korle-bu, Accra.
The Neurogirl Camp is an annual engagement event for female senior high school students in Ghana organized by GH Scientific.
GH Scientific is a Ghanaian company committed, among other things, to building capacity in STEM education through outreach and community engagements.
According to a UNESCO report there exists a 'striking' gender disparity in STEM education globally.
In higher education, only 35% of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields are female, the report, 'Cracking the code: girls’ and women’s education in STEM', said, adding that women continue to drop out of STEM disciplines in disproportionate numbers during their higher education studies, while transitioning to the world of work and even during their career cycle.
The situation is not different in Ghana where girls' participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in secondary schools is still lower than that of boys due, among other factors, to a false belief among girls that science-related subjects are more suited for boys.
The camp, which is a core aspect of GH Scientific's mission, seeks to build capacity in the field of STEM education, with the specific aim to popularise neuroscience and related academic courses among female high school students to the field of neuroscience by highlighting the prospects of the field.
A total of 70 girls, from 7 senior high schools in Accra, participated at this year's camp.
The schools included Galaxy International School, Wesley Grammar Senior High School, Achimota School, Ebenezer Senior High School, Accra Girls Senior High School, St Mary's Senior High School, and Odorgonno Senior High School.
Participants were taken through two sessions of activities.
In the first session, professionals working in the field of neuroscience engage the students in speed mentoring workshops. Here, respective professionals shared their career paths, experiences and challenges with the girls.
The second session was more practical as the girls were taken through neuroscience-related laboratory activities such as cellular imaging, blood tests, behavioural tests and neurological assessments.
Neuroscience professionals who engaged the girls in interactive mentoring sessions included Dr. Thomas Tagoe (neurophysiologist), Dr. Augustina Charwey (neurologist), Dr. Albert Sedohia (Psychiatrist), Delali Logosu (physiotherapist), Yesutor Gbewonyo Amedofu (speech and language therapist) and Awo Koomson (neuro-pharmacologist).
The Neurogirl Camp 2022, and previous ones, was funded by the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO).
The camps have consistently run for the last six consecutive years, apart for the period of the covod-19 lockdown, has always proven to be an enlightening experience for students and teachers alike.
This year's event was part of this year's Brain Awareness Week, which is celebrated globally.
Participants During The Lab Session
Participants At Mentorship Session.jpeg
Session With Speech Therapist.jpeg