The African Science Academy (ASA) is Africa’s first maths, science and technology academy for girls. We spoke with three students at the academy, whose outstanding essays won them a trip to London.
What a scientist looks like
“If someone said scientist to me, I would think of someone who is working with chemicals or trying to build something. They would be old or very boring.”
This what 17-year-old, Ibukun from Nigeria imagined a scientist was before enrolling at the African Science Academy (ASA), Africa’s first maths, science and technology academy for girls. This year, the students at ASA come from 7 different African countries: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo and Ethiopia, and next year’s intake will include girls from Kenya and Zimbabwe.
“In my secondary school, in the classes focused on engineering, technical drawing and pure sciences there were mostly boys,” she explains. “There would be one or two girls. It has been clear from the beginning that girls don’t go into science... it was normal.”