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GLOBE Africa Regional Meeting Sparks Fresh Ideas Among Leadership Team

People at a table.

Country Coordinators planning student research activities for the 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition

GLOBE Africa's 4th Annual Regional Meeting, held in Dakar, Senegal 25-26 February 2010, brought together GLOBE Leaders to discuss ways to strengthen the GLOBE Program in Africa and further prepare GLOBE students for success after they graduate from high school.

Over 20 representatives from 13 countries met at this important event (Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia (via Skype), Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda). The opening ceremony included remarks by M. Ibrahima Ndour, Directeur de l'enseignement secondarire et general/Ministère Education; Dr. Altine Ndao Traorer, Coordonnatrice de la Cellule d'Education et de Formation Environnementale/Ministère de l'Environmennement; M. Mamadou Bâ, GLOBE teacher in Lycée Seydina Limoulaye moderating the opening session; and English translations provided by M. Mamadou N'Diaye, GLOBE Master Trainer.

Speakers at a table,

M. Ibrahima Ndour, Ministry of Education; Dr. Altine Ndao Traorer, Minstry of Environment; Mr. Mark Bretteny, GLOBE Africa, and Dr. Teresa Kennedy, GLOBE International Division, open the meeting

Lycée Seydina Limamoulaye, a GLOBE High School in Dakar, Senegal, was honored by the Ministry for taking first place in the number of overall students ranked for the past three years on the Concours Général, a national student achievement test, and acknowledgments were made by the Ministry officials about the academic benefits of participating in the GLOBE Program. Adding to this message, GLOBE Alumni from both Senegal and Benin actively spoke about their past experiences with GLOBE and how these opportunities have helped them to succeed in their current studies and in the workforce.

Detailed discussions took place aimed at facilitating capacity building in each country in the region and assisting one another to develop strategies for ensuring sustainable programs. All countries were encouraged to form stronger management teams consisting of 5-6 people to organize their GLOBE Program activities and recommendations for membership included their Government Point of Contact and Country Coordinator, while also appointing a Deputy Country Coordinator, and adding community representatives such as parents, local university faculty or scientists, representatives of a local business, and NGO representatives.

People by a tree.

Train-the-Trainer attendees learn to read and record measurements using tools inside the instrument shelter

All present pledged to work closely together to make collaborative projects appealing to schools and communities by creating memorable experiences, such as the Kilimanjaro Expedition, for their students. These activities help GLOBE Africa recruit the participation of African scientists, students, teachers, and other potential community members by demonstrating the valuable student research being conducted. The leadership meeting was followed by a GLOBE Train-the-Trainer workshop, held on 29-31 March 2010, at Lycée Seydina Limamoulaye. This event enhanced efforts to advance the GLOBE Program in Senegal and increase the knowledge base of teachers and trainers from across the region. Thirty teachers from 25 schools were trained in preparation to assist their students in GLOBE Protocol activities aimed for inclusion in student research projects. The newly trained teachers received equipment and began setting up their study sites in an effort to equip students to learn, improve Concours Général scores, and build inquisitive relationships between their students and the Earth. GLOBE Trainers working with Lycée Seydina Limamoulaye include Ngossé Fall Bousso, Mamadou Bâ, Marème Guéye, Faniang Guèye, and Mamadou N'Diaye.

Hats off to all teachers, trainers and GLOBE leadership in Africa for their dedicated work to improve student achievement across the curriculum with a focus on student research in environmental and Earth system science through GLOBE!

5 May 2010