Inaugural Africa Scientifique Workshop

Testimonials – Impact Statements: Participants (AIMS-South Africa Masters’ Students)

On the impact of the Africa Scientifique workshop on their science communication and public engagement presentation & communication skills and knowledge

I learnt the public engagement platforms that I can use to communicate my work and which tools are more effective than others – The public engagement tools and formats that can be used to communicate my work with the general public at large. I learnt to effectively combine public engagement platforms and the public engagement tools to communicate properly with the public.

The sessions were interesting and the topics discussed captured my heart. I really learnt a lot. I learnt about communication skills and how to present effectively to my audience. I learnt how to write a good proposal. I learnt to be able to think fast and put my thoughts down in a clear way.

The facilitator gave me a chance to demonstrate my presentation skills. Due to my participation in the activities, this helped me to work on my weakness during presentation. I learnt how to keep your audience attentive; the pace at which one speaks; the components involved in proposal writing and how to make it outstanding.

I learnt how to overcome socio-cultural exclusion in science communication.

I was able to reveal my feelings about the engagements to the public and learn the good approaches to different groups in society.

Benefits achieved from the workshop – especially in presentation, ‘WOW’ – I mean as a scientist that has been my weakness but in this workshop I learned how to tackle this issue, the techniques and important facts when presenting.

I learnt about the different styles of presentation.

The facilitator gave us diverse tools, platforms that we can use to present and communicate science via written or oral format.

I learnt how to communicate scientific ideas, research to tourists, in industry, to decision-makers, the general public….I also learnt to write proposals and make my presentation to be on one slide. It has given me the capacity to fill the missing gaps needed to communicate effectively.

I learned how to communicate my scientific ideas to the general public and to communicate my mathematics and science ideas using my native language.

The facilitator answered questions relating to how to write a good proposal and gave us a group activity in which my group won the best proposal.

I know what is required of me, if I had to go out there and engage with the public in scientific communication. Language remains an important factor in public engagement regarding science.

I learnt how to properly identify your target audience; identify the necessary tools and resources that I will need to properly communicate my work; and how I can monitor and evaluate how I communicate my work and get responses from the public about my public communication and engagement skills.

I really enjoyed the workshop because it was focusing on my weak point, which is standing in front of many people (audience) and speaking.

I learnt how to include motivation and enthusiasm in my presentations.

I was not familiar on delivering message to people, now I have that skill and I have other tools to use for public engagement and science communication.

Science communication is much helpful not only to the public but to me also, because the more I present my work especially in public society, the more I gain knowledge of what I do too, because of questions imposed from audiences.

Presenting has been my weakness in my studies but from this workshop now I can be able to present my findings to public and science community.

In order to be able to engage with the public you need capacity building training, resources, mentoring and tools.

Benefits of the workshop – knowing the different tools I can use to communicate my work. Now I have gained and been exposed to some skills I will need to communicate my science with public stakeholders.

Benefits of the workshop – An improvement on my presentation skills. Also on how to simplify mathematics when delivering it to our communities.

I was able to learn how to present towards the audience making mathematics into simpler terms – because most people don’t really know mathematics and Africa Scientifique helps with making mathematical sciences easier.

I have benefitted in quite a number of ways but the most important one is the ability to communicate science to any group of people. It has transformed my mentality positively as a young researcher, because after my research thesis, I am motivated now to go out to communicate my research work.

Benefits of the workshop – my communication skills have improved; it has opened my eyes to see the importance of communicating my scientific work. After taking the 3-day workshop, I believe I am better prepared for my master’s defence and to communicate my work in the public.

I learnt how to communicate science and mathematical ideas/knowledge to the
general public in a way one would understand the importance of having scientific knowledge. Science communication/public engagement has helped me to feel free to talk about my mathematical ideas to people who have no idea of the application of mathematics to the real world.

The Africa Scientifique workshop has helped to boost my confidence when communicating my ideas to the public.

On the Impact of the Africa Scientifique Workshop on their Leadership drive for the advancement of Science Communication in Africa

I was able to learn the spirit of giving back to the community through creation of initiatives to discuss important issues affecting the public at large.

The facilitator made the session very interesting so much that I am interested in researching gender and socio-cultural inclusion in science communication.

I learnt to know how to communicate science to the community and to be able to engage easily – with good leadership skills and to treat everyone with the same respect.

We have to link the research in Africa to the problems in the African continent.

To communicate science and also learn from other science communicators is a key factor to career development.

I learnt more about the importance of a mentor, and that I could also be a mentor to others.

It was very good to learn how to use non-traditional ways to boost our careers. I learnt how to increase my leadership and what are the skills of a leader, and to build self-confidence skills.

I learned about all the attributes that make one a good speaker. I now know that outside of the academics, I need to read novels to improve my English. I am going to learn more about science communication in South Africa and the relationship with policy-makers.

The language barrier, if we are able to explain science in our own languages we will be able to understand it better.

The cultural exclusion in science communication has to change – it all begins with us.

It is very important to engage the general public in science irrespective of gender, science is for everyone.

The message on gender and socio-cultural inclusion was given in a clear understanding for us – nice content, as this is one of the many challenges facing us, Africans today.

Tips for leadership learnt – once you decide what to do, create a plan to overcome challenges.

Instil in yourself altruism and volunteerism mind-set. Key domains of development for a researcher are engagement, influence and impact.

Know yourself, what you need to achieve, and what you want to become.

I should be focused, because I am the driver of my own destiny.

Leadership aids – Engage with people with similar interests, manage my time, make good decisions and Act!

I have the motivation to undertake public engagement and make fellow Africans interested in Maths since they have the mentality that it is not for them. I want to show the public in general that whoever wants to undertake a career in Maths can do so.

There are not enough scientists from Africa who are communicating their science with the rest of the world.

I am still going to pursue research and I will need to communicate my work with the public to report on my findings.

Science communication is very essential within my career progression. It helps me to present my knowledge and ideas to my colleagues in easy or layman terms.

I am still planning to pursue research in the near future and I will still need to effectively communicate my work and engage with the public.

There are people who still have a stereotypical belief that we as Black people do not have the capability of learning science and mathematics so the goal is to break that barrier.

Language barrier in Africa – it is hard for children to learn mathematics in English or French, so if they learn it in their language the communication skills would improve.

I do not need opportunities to participate in science communication. I just need to address the scientific concept with the public using the available tools and resources.

It would be easier if science was taught and communicated in our African languages. Using our African languages for science communication is a challenge that is common across Africa. I still want to learn more about challenges in science communication.

Science communication/public engagement activities will help me grow further in my career path.

On the Impact of the Africa Scientifique Workshop on their ability to Conceptualise, design and plan Science Communication and Public Engagement activities/projects

I was very proud of my classmates; each participant crafted a novel practical science communication engagement project that I believe will change their communities to a very positive extent.

I learnt to prepare my science communication project concept on one slide, and to present it to my classmates in 3 minutes.

I learnt how to incorporate the mathematical and scientific ideas into a science
communication project that can greatly benefit the community.

My participation in the workshop activities helped me to think critically and come up with ideas that can benefit a community or a country at large – and how to structure a great public engagement project.

The workshop was very engaging and stimulating to the mind. I learnt to be concise in my written projects. Creativity and innovation are important factors in science communication. This workshop was exciting. Science communication should involve real-life scientific concepts. In my final science communication project presentation – on day 3, I was relaxed, I applied the techniques that were taught over the previous 2 days, in my oral communication, and it was exciting.

I learnt how to target a specific audience when I have an activity, to create a presentation on the activity in just one slide, and to deliver the best content and skills.

The final outcome on Day 3 of a science communication project outline has been a great initiative since the first day.

Creating my own presentation slide and being able to present it to my classmates, coming up with a solution on how to communicate my mathematics to my community.

We learnt how to present our public engagement project on one slide, how to define the audience, to target the tools and format to deliver our science communication activity. In each of my classmate’s final project presentation, I saw the result of this workshop in them during their final presentations and how we have all improved since the first day.

It was a very interesting exercise to come up with an innovative idea of a science communication project that I will be doing in the next 4 months, which will assist the 7 public – there was more than enough help to assist me and direct me in a proper direction to come up with a good idea.

I learnt how to outline/tackle the science communication project in a short space – one powerpoint slide or 1 A4 paper (technique of summarising the work and writing the important and eye-catching points) – and the importance of these techniques in industry or academia – using minimum time and words to sell yourself/your work to your audience, while covering all important aspects of projects, lecture or plan.

Feedback on the Expertise, delivery and Impact of the Africa Scientifique Workshop Facilitators

The facilitators that were involved in this workshop presented themselves very well and clear. The presentations and involvement from students in each session was perfect.

Prof. Fanelwa’s content was very relevant and useful to me as a student and the delivery was very informative and engaging. I was able to ask questions and make comments during the session. All my questions were clearly answered.

Questions asked during the workshop were given utmost attention and carefully attended to. I also asked a question about how to disseminate a research work to science interpreters; the Facilitator carefully answered and cited examples of science interpreters.

Prof. Nox gave an outstanding lecture today, the content and overall delivery were lit. Individuals were able to present their ideas based on what we learnt from the talk.

I was able to ask questions regarding scenarios in my personal life.

The facilitator took her time to deliver a nice content, with enough questions been carefully answered on how to practicalise on science communication project concept designs. We also discussed how to monitor/evaluate the impact of our public engagement activity.

I was very amazed by the performance of classmates – applying all the work done in a short time. Each student’s presentation of their science communication project slide was eye-catching, innovative and well-explained – showing the impact of the work of the facilitators.

Dr. Rasekoala is always on point. Best delivery – she is the best speaker that I have ever met.

Thank you for your knowledge you shared with us!

The presenters and facilitators gave clear presentations and made it easier for us to engage and participate in different activities.

The workshop has made me realize that Mathematics is very important. The delivery of the contents was good, the facilitators made sure that we understood everything.

Overall Impressions of & Recommendations for the Africa Scientifique Programme

The activities we had in the workshop were interesting and eye-opening.

I would recommend the organizers to continue with the good work and educate more people on the communication of science.

At the end of the workshop I understood that there are many ways to disseminate my research and that public engagement can enhance my career.

When I heard/learnt about this programme, I didn’t expect anything. I only planned to attend for attendance sake. However, from the beginning of the programme to the end, I was inspired, motivated and happy to learn. It was beyond my expectations, each session was fun. I took part in the presentation and shared my ideas with my group members and attendees.

Africa Scientifique should move on to create a relationship with many African Universities to impact more people across Africa.

The Africa Scientifique Programme in the future can be offered as a university module.

The content given was much relevant to me because it was focusing on the areas that I need to improve with regards to my career progression. The delivery was perfect because it involved activities.

It’s very important for science communication initiatives to be impactful in the community.

It was very interesting to hear the ideas my classmates had and how they were planning to communicate their work with public stakeholders, and the different tools and resources they were planning to use in order to get the message across.

The workshop content was clear and was delivered to us with good examples of our everyday life. My participation in the activities made it even easier to understand and relate to my academic and personal life.

Every part (session) of this programme was insightful, impactful and educative.

I’ll like to give a thumbs up to the organizers. This programme was an eye opener to the problems we face in Africa. Science is fun. Sharing knowledge is fun and great. I’ll like the world to see the beauty of mathematics.

The workshop was well organized and it was impactful to me as a participant.

This workshop has given me a brief introduction on how to write proposals, the important things that need to be included in proposals. Proposals are needed in workplaces, so when I get employed writing proposals won’t be something new.

This workshop has helped in strategies to prepare for my oral defense. Outlining the important things from my research project and how to present it.

I’ve learnt a lot from this workshop and it was only for 3 days. I would like to learn more.

I think Africa Scientifique should expand beyond AIMS because people would benefit from this information outside African countries.

This is an interesting programme. The contents, overall delivery are marvellous.

The content was meaningful and clear; the delivery of the content was very clear and engaging; this workshop got me excited about scientific communication and public engagement.

The workshop helped me to be better prepared for my master’s degree oral defence as we had a lot of practical oral presentations.

The overall evaluation of the Africa Scientifique workshop was excellent. I like the content in the workshop; the organization and the manner in which it was delivered to me.

I would like to say thank you very much for the opportunity you provided me with, it has helped me grow and plan my future after AIMS.