Africa Hit Science – Christine Kathurima executive

Christine Kathurima, executive director of Nova Pioneer Schools, a network of independent schools from kindergarten through high school in Kenya and South Africa, describes N*Gen as “absolutely revolutionary in terms of quality and African presenters.” “She is not involved in the program. “Choosing a science focus for N*Gen is an absolute necessity because it is not only a neglected field, but it is considered [for many students] one of the most challenging disciplines,” says Joy Chiano, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, PhD, a consultant to Peripheral Vision International. N*Gen first aired on Ugandan television in September. Since then, the program, which includes a dozen 35-minute episodes, has been broadcast by television stations in more than half a dozen African countries. N*Gen is an initiative of six teachers at Clark Junior High School in Kampala and the nonprofit organization Peripheral Vision International, which funds and produces the program. The emphasis on African scientific perspectives, contexts, and discoveries has also impressed broadcasters, who say the program is unlike any other science program aired on African television. The two main hosts, Irene Nyangoma Mugadu and Anna Komushana, are also women: Ugandan teachers at Clark Junior High School in Kampala. “I loved a recent episode calledBones,’ which had a segment about a Turkish boy (fossils) whose bones are in the Kenya National Museum,” “she” says. Still, we hope to see more African programming for African broadcasters,” says Kalumbu Lumpa, ZNBC’s head of content acquisition in Zambia. Jeff Schoen, CEO and co-founder of Akili Kids! the Kenya-based children’s learning channel, says the channel broadcasts programs such as SciGirls, which is based in the U.S. and broadcasts STEM-related content. Kyano says it’s important to show African women in science. She saw an episode about computer programming, another in which two young women researchers visit “their” country, Lake Victoria, to talk about wetlands and learn how to build a model digestive system at home with cups, cookies, water, dye, bananas and oranges. This program, designed for children ages 8-12, explores science from an African perspective. For the “African Teachers Problem” section, teachers submit videos of their science classes. It is inspired by a television program about science created by teachers at “their” school: “It partially covers topics not covered here. “SciGirls,” “she” says, for example, had a segment on shoes designed for safe driving on Minnesota’s icy winter roads. A group of teachers and producers from Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya, where some segments are also filmed, contribute to the episodes.