Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Insights from GhanaThink's Youth Mentorship Online Chat #DiasporaCamp

I previously blogged on the Google + Hangout GhanaThink Diaspora was organising to discuss the importance of mentorship and youth development. The chat was hosted by Thelma Boamah and I, on behalf of the team, last Saturday at 2 pm GMT. Colleagues such as Kirstie, Angie, Kweku, and Jemila played significant background roles to ensure the success of the event. 

The panellists for the day were Emmanuel Gamor (Mpwr), Nina Werner (Mara Mentor), Ebenezer Gwumah (Ashesi), Kofi Yeaboah (BarCamp Ghana), Elizabeth Patterson (Girls Education Initiative Ghana), Eunice Young (Junior Camp Ghana), Cortni Grange (Future Leaders and Young Entrepreneurs), and Jennifer Ehidiamen (Rural Reporters). They shared many brilliant insights. A core message was the importance of identifying what a mentee seeks in a mentoring relationship, and ensuring that he/she applies the lessons learnt from the mentor to achieve results. Another key take away was the need to appreciate mentoring as a two-way relationship, meaning that both mentors and mentees can benefit from each other. Here's a video of the full conversation.



We additionally had great inputs and questions from the Twitter audience, tweeting under the hashtag #DiasporaCamp. The tweets and other social media posts have been storified below. Enjoy and feel free to share your views, experiences or questions on mentoring. Do also check out Panellist Jennifer's write-up on mentoring and sustainable growth.

Friday, 5 December 2014

GhanaThink Diaspora to Host Discussion on Youth Mentorship and Development

GhanaThink Diaspora will host a panel discussion on youth mentorship tomorrow (6th December) at 14:00 GMT.  Joining the chat will be eight leaders working on various youth development initiatives in Africa and beyond.

The goal of the conversation is for panellists to share their experiences with and insights on youth and the potential for mentorship to impact them personally while contributing to wider social/economic/national/global development." We're lucky to have pan-African representation amongst you all. There'll be voices from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and the U.S. - Thelma Boamah, co-moderator
The chat, to be hosted via Google + Hangout. follows our previous discussion on youth and agriculture under Diaspora Camp Online Series. This initiative is the brainchild of members of the diaspora arm of GhanaThink Foundation based in various countries.  

We hope to have an insightful, engaging, and enjoyable conversation. Feel free to join us via Diaspora Camp Google +, Twitter and Facebook channels. We'll be sharing updates via #DiasporaCamp across platforms.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Capturing the Second Junior Camp Ketasco


Students and guests enjoying themselves during the ice-breaker
It seems like a long time ago when GhanaThink’s Junior Camp programme was birthed at Ketasco. On that fateful day, mentors from different professional domains converged at the school to give students insights into fields such as as engineering, computing, entrepreneurship, and banking. The buzz generated on campus that day was like no other, leaving everyone clamouring for more. The Junior Camp train has since stopped at numerous destinations: Kalpohin, Pojoss, Presec, Krogiss, Labone, Armesco, Smasco, etc. Counting them all would be an arduous task! To sustain some of the benefits derived from Junior Camps, a GhanaThink team led by Thelma Boamah is developing the Junior Camp Internship Programme (JCIP). 

After a few tries, the second Junior Camp Ketasco finally happened on 15th November. As usual, we had mentors from diverse backgrounds, from within the school to corporate Accra and beyond. I was especially thrilled to have new good friends, Tom Tagoe of GH Scientific and Heather Beem of Practical Education Network, around to guide students in science and engineering respectively. 

The programme started about an hour later than it should. After welcome greetings, introduction, and the ice-breaker session, a team from Webster University (Philomina and Leonard) addressed the students on educational and growth opportunities open to them in that institution. They asserted that the international environment and liberal arts curriculum provided by Webster would prepare them adequately for the future. After this session, we had two rounds of mentoring. Students were free to choose from a wide array of topics, led by various mentors, as presented below:

Agbenyegah Kirk – Software Development
Thomas Tagoe – Neuroscience/Science
Heather Beem – Engineering
Emmanuel S. Amekplenu – Leadership and Banking
Akpah Prince – Media
Alorwu Noah – Mobile Learning
Seyram Kartey - Game Development
Daniel Owusu – Academic Excellence/Volunteering
Yayra Tay Thomsen – Fashion/Personal Branding
Leonard Suransky – International Relations
V.N. Tamakloe – Leadership
Philomina Abakah – Customer Service/Marketing
Gameli Adzaho – Environmental Health

Mentors introducing themselves to the gathering
The gathering broke for lunch after the second mentoring round. Subsequently, we had two optional sessions. The first one focused on various educational experiences of mentors (Heather, Yayra and Tom) outside Ghana, while the second one dealt with transitioning from Ketasco to the outside world. I was with the latter group, and I must say we had very interesting insights shared by alumni who completed recently and those from earlier year groups. The original panel consisted of Junior Camp lead Nathaniel Alpha, Benjamin Boafor (medical practitioner), and Kirk Agbenyegah (software developer). Along the way we were joined by an enthusiastic bunch of old students who happened to pass through campus after attending a funeral in Keta. People like Ebenezer, Efo Dela, Setorli Tamakloe, Setorli’s sister, and Jeremiah, all shared their “dzolalian tales”. The take away, really, was to utilise various opportunities created in the school environment as these opportunities (for growth) would not be available in the future. I was pleased to learn majority of the panellists passed through the Writers and Debaters Club, a club I’ve been affiliated with since my Ketasco days.
 
Nat making a point on the "life in Ketasco" panel
Junior Camp Ketasco was a big success thanks to the efforts of the GhanaThink team, and also staff like Victor Tamakloe, John Attipoe, Noah Alorwu, and some students who helped to organise stuff around the campus. One-on—one feedback received from the mentors was positive. Someone said something along the lines of “you have a great school here”. The students expressed their delight too, as they shared useful new things they picked up from the sessions they joined. The Junior Camp programme is about awakening and nurturing the inner potential of Ghanaian students. The whole enterprise is led by Nathaniel Alpha, who was part of the very first Junior Camp team. It is gratifying to see what was started in Ketasco quickly scale to have national impact, led by one of the school’s products. That is the kind of confidence we want to build in the future generation.

Have you ever participated in a Junior Camp or mentoring event? What were your experiences?

Monday, 24 November 2014

Making Science Education More Practical in Ghana, The PEN-GAST Experience

Brainstorming session ongoing at a recent science workshop in Accra
Science is commonly viewed as a process of obtaining knowledge through experimentation and observation. This means that scientific knowledge is generated through extensive interaction of learners with the physical and natural world. It appears that the role of the teacher, therefore, is to provide students with the requisite tools to embark on this journey of discovery, filled with adventure, curiosity and wonder. Once interest is stimulated and maintained, the rest is history.
Yet in Ghana, especially at the basic school level, lack of basic laboratory materials and equipment interfere with the ideal of teaching science using a hands-on approach. Without proper practicals or demos, students find it more challenging to understand topics taught in class. This may partly be responsible for the general poor performance of basic school pupils in their end-of-studies examinations.

Thankfully, the above situation may soon be in the past as the educational paradigm shifts towards more engaging instructional approaches. One such proposition is low-cost science practicals, designed and run using very cheap readily available resources. A recent workshop jointly organised by the Greater Accra branch of the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) and Practical Education Network (PEN) introduced district science coordinators and some selected basic school science teachers to some of these activities.

Indicator being extracted from some flowers

The workshop was facilitated by Heather Beem of PEN and MIT D-Lab, while Saddik Mohammed and colleagues from GAST coordinated the logistics. Thomas Tagoe, Habib Sumaila, and myself played various supporting roles over the three days. The workshop covered basic science activities for selected topics in the Junior High School (JHS) curriculum. Apart from performing pre-set experiments, Heather introduced a framework useful for designing new science activities, and solving problems in general. This was well-received and tested by the educators. Feedback from the participants, the facilitator, and the organisers was positive. The science coordinators promised to transfer their experiences to the teachers in their districts through follow-up workshops. The workshop blog and GH Scientific covered details of what transpired.

Heather explaining the design cycle

All in all, being part of the PEN-GAST workshop was a useful experience as I learnt some cool science tricks I would be likely to try out some time. More importantly, I connected with many people influencing science education at the basic level in Ghana, namely science coordinators and teachers. We discussed how some of their own projects fit into initiatives such as Global Lab Ghana, Ghana Educators Network and GH Scientific. There are many opportunities for further collaborations! Finally, I shared some online tools, communities and resources that could be useful for their future learning and work.

Learning science should not only involve memorisation and reasoning, but also performing activities and developing skills. The PEN-GAST workshop demonstrated that cost cannot always inhibit science in action. Teachers can take advantage common low-cost materials to give school science a new twist. This will go a long way to contribute to raising competent innovators and problem solvers of the future.

What are your personal experiences learning science? In what ways can teachers make studying science more fun and engaging? Views welcome!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Celebrating the Heroes of Youth Entrepreneurship at BarCamp Kumasi 2014 #bcksi

If you're around Kumasi this weekend, please join GhanaThink and its partners for the fifth BarCamp Kumasi at KNUST. Find more details and info on how to register on the poster below.

BarCamp Kumasi 2014 is the 38th barcamp to be held in Ghana #bcksi
Want to know more? Read this blog post by MIghTy African

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

BarCamp Ho and the Quest for Scientific and Entrepreneurial Thinking in Ghana #bcho

Mentoring session ongoing at BarCamp Ho 2014
Last Saturday, 25th October, I joined other change makers at the University of Health and Allied Sciences for the fourth BarCamp Ho. This was my first barcamp in over a year, so I was really excited to have been part of the event. Here are Storify highlights of what transpired. 


After an initial hesitation, I accepted to 'mentor' some attendees (many of them university or senior high school students) on "education and research", drawing on experiences in science education and postgraduate studies. Upon reflection, since many of the attendees asked the same questions, perhaps, a breakout session on the topic would have been more appropriate. Also, it would have been nice to pick everyone's brain on what can be done to improve the quality of research in Ghana, and to increase its role in policy making. This is very important since science provides tools to fix our day-to-day challenges. A more robust research regime in West Africa would see regional challenges such as ebola, small arms, and energy shortage, handled with greater efficiency than is currently done.

The above submission ties in well with the overall theme of this year's BarCamp Ho: "re-educating ourselves for the new entrepreneurial world", although not immediately apparent. Most of the day's discussions centred on creating business ventures and new instructional/coaching models to raise entrepreneurial champions. While these propositions are rightly in place, it is equally important to extend our conception of entrepreneurial thought to disrupting education and advancing scientific research. Innovation on these frontiers do not only require increased scientific knowledge but also technical aptitude to analyse society's problems and to design and implement solutions to tackle them. Clearly, there is an urgent need to liaise with government, businesses, and the larger society to adopt research as a critical tool for development. The achievement of this feat requires entrepreneurial acumen on a scale similar to what pertains in the business context. Our long-term challenge, therefore, is to create educational opportunities that would enhance the inculcation of critical skills among learners at various educational levels. In the short-term, government must invest more in science education and research. The current situation where less than 0.5% of GDP is allocated to science and technology in Ghana is not only shocking but shameful.
Re-educating ourselves for the new entrepreneurial world requires raising leaders in politics, business and communication, to create revenue-generating projects and to position our country in a favourable light in the global milieu. Just as important is the task to increase the quality of science education and the level of scientific thinking in the general population. We need to build the right environment for scientific research that would lead to inventions and innovations. Also, we need to encourage a maker culture through collaborations between our universities, research institutes and informal makers. I am sure someone said this at the barcamp: "what are we going to market when we do not produce much?"

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Discussing Entrepreneurial Education and Remembering Eli Aidam at BarCamp Ho 2014

I've not written any posts on this blog or elsewhere online in a while because I was busy with the dissertation phase of my masters degree. I learnt a lot over the past year, especially from working on my final project. I am thankful for successfully completing the course.    

BarCamp Ho 2014 is upon us; this is Volta region's fourth barcamp since the first event in 2011. Find details about this year's event in the flyer below. 


We're dedicating this year's barcamp to the memory of Eli Aidam, our colleague from GhanaThink who tragically passed on earlier this year. 

Eli Aidam: Youth leader- GhanaThink, CCY, etc [Credit: Elvis Bomassah]
Eli, Eric Nii Tackie Tawiah, Bless Nkegbe and myself held the initial meeting at the Ghana Tourist Board Office [Eric's workplace] in October 2011, to plan the first BarCamp Ho. Back then, I quietly admired Eli's pragmatism, resourcefulness, and extensive networking skills. Eli then moved on to become the 'engine' of the Ho barcamps in later years. He was  a true connector, and this came to bear in his work with Centre for Creative Youth, a youth-led initiative focused on nurturing the creative talent of the youth for social change. When Ghana Decides was looking for partners for youth engagement, and later social media training, towards the 2012 elections, Eli was instrumental in bringing CCY on board. We remember Eli for his dreams, hard work, and selflessness, But, perhaps more importantly, we would remember him for being our friend.

So join us at the University of Health and Allied Sciences this Saturday 25th October to map out creative ways of personal development to aid youth to function in an increasingly entrepreneurial world, while we remember a dear colleague who exemplified that philosophy. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Exploring Youthful Innovations to Transform Agriculture in Africa via #AfricaDayAgric Chat

The African Union (AU) observes its founding date, 25th May, as "Africa Day" every year. This is a national holiday in many African countries set aside to reflect on how far we have come in pursuit of continental unity and various aspects of life. Earlier, the AU declared 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security, and the diaspora team of GhanaThink Foundation saw this as the perfect opportunity to engage youth on their role in transforming the agricultural sector.

Yesterday a Google + hangout discussion hosted by the team explored the challenges, innovations and opportunities in the African agricultural sector. The event, hosted by Jemila Abdulai and Kirstie Kwarteng featured youth panellists drawn from research, business, ICT and other contexts within the agricultural space. Joining the discussion were David Aduama, Alloysius Attah, Acheampong Atta Boateng, Edison Gbenga, Dr Joy Odimegwu, Sidney Rockson and Worlali Senyo. Their rich insights were shared with viewers in various parts of the world through the Diaspora Camp YouTube channel. You can follow what was discussed through the video below:


Inputs were made into conversation by the wider online community via the #AfricaDayAgric hashtag on Twitter and other social media platforms. The moderators masterfully increased interactivity by highlighting core points made and questions asked by the Twitter audience. A summary of the Twitter conversation is also available through the GhanaThink Storify account, thanks to Ato Ulzen-Appiah.

I left the discussion thinking of: (i) the role of education in giving youth skills and making agriculture attractive and (ii) strategies needed to withstand the negative effects of climate change on agriculture. If you have any thoughts on these, kindly drop a comment and let's discuss.

The #AfricaDayAgric chat is part of the new DiasporaCamp Online series, and hopefully we would have conversations on other topics of importance to African youth, home and abroad. What topics do you think need to be explored?

Monday, 7 April 2014

The Citizen Science Approach to Research: Report from GW4 Workshop, Bath

Source: thinkprogress.org
The idea of harnessing the collective or community input for a project is quite appealing to my African mind. Grassroots involvement fosters group ownership and often leads to better results. Movements such as GhanaThink, BloggingGhana and Enactus ride on the numbers and efforts of its members. When applied to science, public participation aids data collection and organisation, research design, and facilitates greater understanding of scientific phenomena. The active involvement of volunteers or "lay people" in the scientific enterprise, "citizen science", is a fast-growing paradigm in the scientific community and has the same essence as open source, open data and civic participation movements. It has wide applications ranging from social science research, through ecological studies, to unravelling the mysteries of the wider universe. I recently had the fortune to be part of a citizen science workshop organised by the United Kingdom's GW4 Universities at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, (BRLSI).
We were welcomed by Dr Helen Featherstone of University of Exeter who gave a brief intro of the day's activities. Dr Robert Simpson from University of Oxford, in the first presentation, gave an overview for the need and benefits of citizen science, drawing examples from the Zooniverse project.
He made an interesting point on validating crowdsource data- data contributed by the most accurate and least accurate volunteers are equally important because of the consistency. Thus you can tell whether the data coming in is accurate or inaccurate.

Dr Erinma Ochu from the University of Manchester then explored the topic from a social science perspective, with examples from the Sunflower Experiment and other projects. Here's a key point she made:
One of my favourite parts of the day was the structured networking session where the participants interacted about how they use citizen science in their work. In short three minute spells, I learnt briefly about projects such as mathMETicsIfOnly, and BodyTrack.

Next was a panel on citizen science case-studies featuring Lisa Austin (Bath, IfOnly), Alexander Todd (Exeter, CliMathNet), Dr Emma Rich (Bath, Citizen Journalism), Dr Jaap Velthuis (Bristol, HiSparc), and Dr Sarah Perkins (Cardiff, Project Splatter).

Panel discussion on GW4 citizen science projects
After the round-table, we broke for lunch amidst networking, followed by the breakout sessions. The breakouts focused on recruiting citizen scientists, methodological approaches and ethics. I was in the methodological approaches/ethics group and some of the issues raised include data ownership, blurring the line between academic and activist, limitations of institutional review processes, and citizen science governance.

Some useful technological and web resources for citizen science researchers were also shared among the group. Some of the less popular ones include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Storify, University Wiki pages, Open Street Map, Google tools (Maps, Apps, etc), Carto DB (for visualisation), Ushahidi (for crowdmapping) and Github (for open source code). 

I learnt a lot from what researchers are doing in the GW4 universities and other institutions. More than that, I enjoyed the brilliant opportunity to interact with the brains behind some really interesting citizen science projects. Hopefully we can do more with the larger public to piece together the puzzle that is life and derive better solutions for our pressing problems. Meanwhile, the conversation continues on Twitter via #GW4CS.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Afrimakers and OUWA Team up to Train the Next Generation of Ghanaian Makers

Trainees keenly engaged during the Africamakers Uganda session. Source: Afrimakers
Afrimakers project, in partnership with Open University of West Africa (OUWA) and a few others, are making further strides towards nurturing a maker movement in Ghana. Their three step strategy involves:
  1. Training facilitators to lead mentoring workshops and the community
  2. Mentoring 6 to 17 year olds to acquire the necessary problem-solving skills
  3. Showcasing innovations and networking through maker faire type events
Victor Kelechi Ofoegbu, one of the coordinators for the first facilitators workshop coming up at iHub, Accra next Monday, 10th March states:
The project aims to spark interest in young children for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by exploring a range of hands-on experiments hands. The projects range from building paper-based electronic circuit boards, air quality control sensors, recycling old web cams into microscopes, to programming Raspberry Pi microcomputers.
This is a brilliant opportunity to improve problem-solving through open innovation in Ghana. Everyone should register and be part of it.      

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Tullow Group Scholarships for Prospective African and South American Masters Students

Take a bold step and apply to be a Tullow scholar
The British Council is accepting applications for the 2014 cohort of the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme (TGSS). TGSS, funded by Tullow Oil plc, and managed by the British Council, has been put in place to support development in countries where Tullow operates. High potential scholars from selected countries in Africa and South America are sponsored for masters programmes in top universities in UK, Ireland and France. British council runs a rigorous assessment process to select the most suitable candidates for the programme. The scheme is in its third year of full operation, and application is opened up to 28th February. More details and instructions can be found at the TGSS website.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

BloggingGhana and the Building of a Social Media Hub in Ghana

BloggingGhana facilitates positive use of social media through BlogCamp
The use of social media in Ghana has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Young people in particular are attracted to digital media because they are able to network, explore opportunities and express themselves without much hindrance. In response to the demand of Ghana's growing digital population, various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are enabling increasingly cheaper and faster connections to the world wide web.

The organic expansion of the local virtual ecosystem has been propelled in no small part by BloggingGhana (BloGH) through projectsworkshopsevents and thought leadership. This has added some concreteness and tangibility to the possibilities of social media as a tool for social change. Now BloGH aims to give Ghanaian social media users a home, a space where all things social media would converge. To this end, BloggingGhana is pooling resources from among members, the larger online community and all who find their work useful through the #MoreStories fundraising drive. BloGH executives Edward and Kajsa explain what #MoreStories is all about:


Success of this project will empower social media users in Ghana to hone their skills, build new businesses, forge ahead and share authentic stories of their experiences. You can contribute to this great dream by:
  1. Donating money through the special #MoreStories indiegogo funding page
  2. Transferring money to Guaranty Trust Bank A/C: 204 109 117 11
  3. Donating office equipment and other resources (Contact number: 233 026.146.9710 )
  4. Spreading the word to your networks (tag @BloggingGhana in your posts)
BloGH has already acquired the office space and needs about $10,000 to get it running. An Ewe proverb translates loosely as "if you manage to lift a load up to your knee level, you must be assisted to place it on the head." Clearly, BloGH has done a lot to get this project started. Let's all help to make it real. Yedaase!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Remembering Komla Dumor, a Great Ambassador for Ghana


BBC World Service/Flickr
We lost Nelson Mandela and Prof Ewurama Addy recently, and now we've lost iconic BBC world service presenter Komla Dumor, aged 41. His death was received with shock in Ghana, Africa and other parts of the world. He discharged his journalistic duties with enthusiasm, style and excellence to the admiration of all. Komla was an inspirational figure and ultimate role model for many young Ghanaians, so his death was painful indeed.

I've never met or interacted with Mr Dumor. Everything I know about him was derived from his work on radio, TV and online. Back in our university dorms at Legon, where Joy FM super morning show was a staple, we relied on the incisive questions and analyses of Komla and his colleagues to gain understanding of the everyday issues of Ghana and beyond. The kind of broadcasting practised by the likes of Komla Dumor, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, and Stan Dogbe at the time was hard to come by in Ghana. Watching Komla Dumor play leading roles at BBC through Focus on Africa, World News, FIFA World Cup and Nelson Mandela funeral coverage was a source of pride for me as a Ghanaian. He eruditely discharged his duties to wide acclaim, again demonstrating that Africans can excel in any endeavour when given the opportunity. It is therefore not surprising that Komla is widely celebrated by all who know him and his work, amidst the grief of his passing. Ghana's online community has been forthcoming with fitting tributes, which Jemila Abdulai and I compiled together for BloggingGhana. Read our compilation on bloggingghana.org.

 Komla Dumor's success was achieved through hard work and perseverance. This is an important lesson for all ambitious young people: experiencing failures and trials on the journey of life is akin to the refinement process gold goes through in fire. You can only get better! Komla gave similar insights through his talk on "going global" during Springboard 2013 road show (Koforidua).


Did you ever meet Komla Dumor or follow his work? What is the most important lesson that you picked up from his life? Komla, dzudzɔ le nutifafa me!

Friday, 17 January 2014

MISE Mathematics Tournament 2014


MISE Foundation is currently accepting application from 11-17 year old students in Ghana for their 2014 mathematics tournament.
The tournament is an international mathematics contest designed to challenge students beyond the normal school curriculum and to help identify gifted young mathematicians for further development... Ultimately the best students will represent Ghana at the international event the following year.
Unlike other competitions, this contest comes with training opportunities for the participants. MISE also has an international mathematics summer camp that gives the opportunity for motivated students to engage world class mathematicians and technologists from diverse backgrounds.

According to Joel Dogoe of MISE:
any student interested in math can apply but our selection programme will look for the best out of all applicants. We de-emphasise the competition bit of the programme when we identify students for the training programme. So far our alumni are a testimony of the programme's success and we are still working hard to identify more of such talents here in Ghana.
I think the MISE initiative is a brilliant way to engage young students in mathematics. Any student passionate about developing a career in the mathematical sciences or merely intent on building their analytical skills should give this a shot!

In Memoriam: Professor Marian Ewurama Addy

RIP Prof Marian Ewurama Addy. (Pic taken from ghanaweb.com)
I first learnt of Professor Ewurama Addy's passing on through a friend's wall on Facebook. I quickly googled around to find the news, and was totally disheartened to find that she was indeed gone.

Most Ghanaians, especially those interested in the sciences, will remember her as the quiz mistress of the popular National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) programme on TV. In fact, my first encounter with her was through that medium back in the day. I would say NSMQ was likely one of the factors that swayed me to take the scientific path, as I was interested in so many different subjects in Junior Secondary School. 

In the biochemistry department at University of Ghana, Legon, she was highly respected by both staff and students. I was always curious to have a taste of the substance behind the aura. I got to know Prof Addy better in my final year when she taught us BCHM 409, "biochemistry of hormones." The class was interesting and engaging and she always drew on her wide experiences in teaching and research to illustrate key points (stuff about cyclic AMP, G-proteins and cholesterol). I dozed off a few times during her early morning lectures, and thought she didn't notice.Well on the last but one day of the course, she finally asked why I was often sleepy and promised giving me a special T-shirt if I don't sleep off in her last class!

She encouraged her students to pursue graduate studies, especially if we wanted to become biochemists. She was right. You can't really call yourself a biochemistry without at least a masters degree in the field. Since I left university I've been involved in research, technology and education. Although I'm not centrally located in biochemistry any more, the training received from the department, from people like Prof, is helping me to hold my own in the world.

The last time I met her was back in 2009 at a public forum for Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web at AITI-KACE. During that time, she was working on the Anglican University of Technology project. She will always be remembered as a great scientist, teacher, science champion, quiz mistress and role model.

Also read this beautiful tribute to her at Levers in Heels, celebrating what she means for women in science. What do you think is Prof Addy's greatest legacy and what should be done to remember her?