Monday, March 27, 2017

Strengthening Our Partnership with STEM Student Based Organizations (SBOs): West Africa

For more than one year, InsightSTEM has worked to achieve better results for students and youth in West Africa, Our core values are to demoncratise STEM knowledge through exploration, creating a world where all minds are critically thinking, STEM literate and global learners. As a natural outgrowth of our work, we have created and continue to nurture diverse network across the region.

West Africa is currently characterized by a rapidly growing youthful population experiencing rapid social- economic, scientific and technological development. InsightSTEM cannot do it alone in West Africa, thus, strengthening our partnerships with all STEM organizations is essential to us. With this, we can have more impacts by providing STEM knowledge through exploration across all regions of West Africa.

Networking Evening: Biological Sciences  Student Association (BIOSSA), University of Liberia

On March 18, 2017 at 6:00pm,   InsightSTEM had an exciting event; a dinner night with the Biological Sciences   Student Association (BIOSSA), University of Liberia in the Tubman Hall at the Capitol Hill Campus of the University of Liberia, ,  with some of its Local Impact Committee Liberia members as well as Kinder STEM West Africa Missions Director, Mr. Johnason L. David and West Africa Coordinator, Mr. Simmie S. Nyanfor, Jr. were present. Interestingly, InsightSTEM Liberia LIC Chairperson, Mr. Chalaty A. Young, also serves as the President of the Biological Sciences Students Association at the University of Liberia.

At this event, Campus Ambassador and Local Impact Committee, Christian Weah   gave a brief presentation about IstightSTEM. He also presented on programs and projects undertaken by InsightSTEM and some good works coming up  by the organization. He encouraged STEM teachers, professionals, and students to become members of InsightSTEM by joining the Liberia Local   Impact Committee in order to help explore STEM greatly in Liberia.

Moreover, some Young STEM Professionals of InsightSTEM were given various awards as Honorees. These include: Francis Maweah, Jr. (Academic Excellence Award), Perry Z. Newray (Distinct Leadership Award), and our Student Representative Varfee A. Siryon also receiving Distinct Leadership Award.

World Pi Day

March 23, 2017, was another unique program; the World Pi Day organized by Liberian Community Association of Connecticut Scholars (LCAC - Scholars) that was well attended by InsightSTEM Liberia Local Impact officials led by its Chairperson, Mr. Chalaty A. Young, and also Kinder STEM West Africa Missions Director, Mr. Johnason L. David and West Africa Coordinator, Mr. Simmie S. Nyanfor, Jr.
Some members of the InsightSTEM West Africa crew at
the World Pi Day Celebration - Liberia

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi  is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.
Cross section of students at the Pi Day celebration held at the Firestone Field House, Harbel, Margibi County, Liberia

Chalaty A. Young, LIC Liberia Chair
presenting to the audience
Our Local Impact Liberia Chair, Chalaty A. Young talked more of InsightSTEM to the audience and he provided opportunity for students and teachers that were willing to become members of the organization by writing down basic information about themselves. He also served as judge of the Pi recitation and quizzing competition.

Jallah Sumo, HSS Representative
helping students join
InsightSTEM HSS program

Mr. Jallah Sumo, High School Scholars Program representative, Liberia Local Impact Committee engaged the students on the importance of the HSS program and how it is beneficial to the growth of them as a students and the provision of smooth transition and readiness to take on STEM careers after high school. He also emphasized on the hands on opportunities to partake in InsightSTEM programs and projects to enhance their research and outreach skills. 

Mr. Brillaince Karwee, STEM Exploration Technology Team Lead, Liberia Local Impact Committee, explained to the students about the low cost exploration technologies InsightSTEM provides to enhance their STEM knowledge through exploration. In addition, Campus Ambassador Fredrick Dukuly make presentation on the importance of Pi as it relates to STEM Education as well as Darcess Dossen encouraging students to take on STEM careers.

More high-schools scholars and teachers were encouraged to become members of InsightSTEM High School Scholars Program because of their passion for STEM which they would love to explore greatly in Liberia.

Cross section of the students at the event
The program was successful and ended with students interacting with officials of InsightSTEM to know more about the organization.

You can support our programs and projects in West Africa by donating here:

--- Romell Dede
InsightSTEM LIC Liberia Communications Officer

Celebrating the launch of the New STEM Career Voyage: 185th Anniversary of Darwin’s launch on the HMS Beagle Expedition

On December 27, 2016 at 6:00pm, InsightSTEM West Africa, Impact Liberia held a ceremony in Recognition of Graduation and the celebration of the launch of a New STEM Career Voyage for seven of our Campus Ambassadors that graduated from the University of Liberia in commemoration of the 185th Anniversary of Darwin’s launch on the HMS Beagle Expedition

On December 27, 1831, Charles Darwin went on board HMS Beagle in Devon port (Plymouth). For five years, the naturalist traveled around the world in the 90-foot - (27.4 meter-) long and 24 - foot (7.4 - meter-) wide three-mast ship. On October 2, 1836, the ship reached English shores again.

Originally, the Beagle had served the Royal Navy as a survey ship. However, it became famous through the expedition with Charles Darwin. The exotic animal world of Australia fascinated Charles Darwin and baffled him: "Anyone who has faith in his own reasoning is sure to cry out: 'Surely there have been two creators at work here - one for Australia and one for the rest of the world."

In summer 1833, Darwin came across rheas that looked very different from each other and asked himself why the Almighty has created two such closely related species, whose environments hardly differed. In his work The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle Darwin described every single species of animal that he studied, such as the vampire bats.

The program was intended to recognize those campus ambassadors that graduated from the University of Liberia as they start their new STEM career voyage as the same day marks the 185th anniversary of  Charles Darwin's launch on the HMS Beagle Expedition . The ceremony was gracefully attended by Theresa Jolokleh (Representative, Ministry of Education), Araminta Nyekan and Leeneh Kiamu (Representative, Liberia Institute for the Promotion of Academic Excellence), Darlington Fiajue (Executive Director, Save the Future Foundation International, Liberia), and representatives from Save the Children-Liberia, Liberia Association of Female Engineers, IBIS, University of Liberia, Stella Maris Polytechnic, United Methodist University, amongst others. In addition, the InsightSTEM West Africa Coordinator, KinderSTEM West Africa Director and all of the executive members of the Local Impact Committee – Liberia, the graduates along with friends, and affiliates.

Salia Sheriff, Co-Chairman of the Liberia Local Impact Committeem- Liberia and the Masters of Ceremony, spoke on the overview of the program, explaining the importance of the program and how much it means to InsightSTEM. He also explained the importance of InsightSTEM's Young STEM Professional Program. 

Theresa Jolokleh, served as the Guest Speaker of the unique program. She spoke on the importance of STEM Education and urged the graduates to keep focus and continue their STEM career in order to improve the STEM areas of our beloved country and the universe at large, motivating them to follow their dreams and aspirations. After her deliberations, she presented certificates of recognition and ushered them in their new STEM professions. Afterward, everyone celebrated with their certificates and the program was concluded.

Meet our graduates from the University of Liberia
From left: Jarka Nicolas, Perry Newray, Momo Kanneh, Maximus Fahnbulleh, Varfee A. Siryon, Francis Maweah and Simmie S. Nyanfor, Jr.

BSc. Biology
University of Liberia
July 9, 2008, Nicholas Jarka graduated from Central Site High School with preeminence, receiving both his High School Diploma and WAEC Certificate, Cavalla Rubber Corporation School System. Two years after his graduation, he enrolled at the T. J. R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology, University of Liberia to study Biology major with minor in a Chemistry.
He made a significant impact at the college, serving as Teacher Assistant just before his graduation. On December 7, 2016, he earned his Bachelor of Science (BSc.) Degree in Biology from the University Of Liberia and subsequently passing the School Of Pharmacy Aptitude Test and Interview thus qualifying him as a student of that professional institution in that same year.

Nicholas Jarka is currently a first year student of the School of Pharmacy, University Of Liberia, studying for a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy. Being an astute student of the Natural Sciences and having a lot of zest for education and how to contribute to his nation, decided to join InsightSTEM on August 24, 2015. Since acquiring his membership in 2015, InsightSTEM has help him meet with other science students sharing similar aspirations and impacted his life in so many aspects. Nicholas Jarka is humbled to be a member of this Noble quest that has amalgamated Science scholars in order to enhance their dreams and aspirations in the sciences.

With the quality of information he has received from InsightSTEM, he has identified a very big gap in the Health sector of Liberia and decided to fill those gaps by doing a post-graduate degree in Pharmacotherapy and Psychiatry Pharmacy, as Liberia has only one Pharmacotherapist and no known Psychiatry Pharmacist. As a young man with much passion for education, he looks forward to obtaining a scholarship so as to further his education in the area of Pharmacy at any post-graduate.

Momo Kanneh
BSc. Biology
University of Liberia

Momo Kush Kanneh completed his primary and secondary education in 2009 obtaining High School Diploma and West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) Certificate from Len Miller High School.
Momo attended the University of Liberia in 2010 to study Biology as his Major with a Chemistry Minor. After six years of hard work and commitment, he graduated from the University of Liberia with a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) Degree in Biology on December 7, 2016.
Along the way, he earned certificates in Microsoft office Suite and Compt. A+ at the Consult IT Solution in 2009 and 2010 respectively. He also obtained a Diploma in Project Management from the Progressive Youth Ministry.
Momo Kush Kanneh is Children Superintendent at the Bethel Cathedral of Hope; present General Secretary for the Tweh Johnsonville Community Youth and Chaplain General for a not for profit Christian organization: the Progressive Youth Ministry. Momo wishes to become one of the world's renowned cardiologists with the help of InsightSTEM. He believes with such he can make vital contributions to the institution and the world at large.

BSc, Biology
University of Liberia

Francis Maweah Jr. graduated from St. Peters Lutheran High School as a honor student in 2011. He matriculated that same year, to the University of Liberia, majoring in Biology. Graduated from the University of Liberia with honor (Magna cum laude) in 2016. Currently studying general medicine at A.M. Dogliotti college of Medicine.

Academic achievements:
Academic excellence award, 2016-UL Scholar program
Academic honor award, 2016-college of science, UL
President honor society (PHS), UL 2012-2013
Deans honor scholar award, 2014-2015 UL
Best quizzer award, St Peters Lutheran-2011

Network officer- InsightSTEM LIC Liberia, 2016
Youth secretary, Lakpazee community-2016
Vice president, BIOSSA-UL, 2015-2016
Vice president and secretary, LUX in Tenebris scholar program UL 2014-2016
Captain, quizzing team, St. Peter Lutheran high school 2010-2011

Contributions to insightSTEM
The Head of a networking team that was instrumental in the recruitment of teachers, students, and campus ambassadors to participate in the teacher, high school scholar, and teacher partnership workshops.

How did insightSTEM contributed
Relationship building, networking with institutions, entrusting leadership role, opportunity to improve on media productivity skills, and participating in STEM workshops.

InsightSTEM contribution to his future ambition:
- Link him with experts such as medical doctors (cardiologists)
- Enable him to become a Young STEM Professional
- Scholarship recommendations
- Conduct medically related workshops

BSc. Biology
University of Liberia
Simmie S. Nyanfor, Jr. began his junior and senior secondary education at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner International School, Central Matadi, Sinkor. At the institution, Simmie demonstrated extreme leadership role and academic excellence. He held the Press Club, Quizzing and Debate Club, provide tutorials, and also served as Food Advisory Prefect and Assistant Prefect of the School. Simmie was always a Principal List Student and All time scholar. Upon his graduation on September 27, 2009, Simmie graduated as the Salutatorian of his class having 96.4 average. He was also awarded several certificates as being the best biology, chemistry and mathematics student.

After earning his High School Diploma and West African Examination Council Cerificate, Simmie enrolled at the International Institute of Computer Science and Man Power Development where he earned Diploma in Computer Science. 

Due to the passion of becoming a Medical Doctor, he enrolled at the T.J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology, University of Liberia, to major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. He graduated on December 7, 2016, with a BSc Degree in Biology and is waiting upon acceptance into the Graduate School.

Simmie joined InsightSTEM in February 2016 as a Campus Ambassador at the University of Liberia. In March 2016, Simmie was appointed West Africa Coordinator for InsightSTEM. Under his leadership, he held the first ever "West Africa Planning and Professional Development Week" facilitated by Dr. Jacob Noel-Storr (InsightSTEM President) and impacted over 150 students, teachers and Young STEM Professionals. He has held several other programs in Liberia and has expanded InsightSTEM to eleven (11) countries in Africa, leading a cadre of over 350 campus ambassadors, Young STEM Professionals and high school scholars.

Simmie is the founder and CEO of Innovision: a Science and Technology enterprise; as well as the founder and Executive Director of Youth for Better- Africa: a platform to identify, Support and Promote Potentials in fellow Young People, to promote self-development of Africa through higher vision. He served as a volunteer at SMART-Liberia, LIPACE and many other youth and educational-based organizations.

Simmie aims to transform Africa to a first-world continent by 2030, where every human has equal opportunity to maximize their potential. His interest is in development and sustainability, with a focus on STEM education and Health. He is passionate about widening his knowledge to create a world better for all.

BSc. Biology
University of Liberia

Varfee A. Siryon obtained his junior and senior high school certificates and diploma from St. Mary Catholic High School. While there, he was known as being a member of the Legion Quizzing and Debate Team. During his graduation from the St Mary Catholic High School, he was one of the honored students and received a certificate of academic achievement in economics.

He then matriculated to the University of Liberia, where he studied with a Biology major and Chemistry minor. During his time at the University of Liberia, he worked in several student leadership capacities. He first served as the Academic Committee Chairman of the Biology Sciences Students’ Association-Students Initiative, where he was tasked with the responsibility of organizing academic activities such as tutorials for students facing difficulties with lessons, and biological sciences debates among students of the department. He later served as Chairman of the National Life Sciences Students Association of Liberia –University of Liberia chapter.

He became a member of InsightSTEM on March 12, 2016, where he assumed the role of Campus Ambassador Representative. Being a member of InsightSTEM has broadened his mind to the diversity of STEM career, which was never in his thoughts. InsightSTEM has had a tremendous impact on his career development, through career development workshops and STEM exploration networking. InsightSTEM has enhanced his mentor and mentee development skills, which are used to get young interested STEM scholars to reach their desired level.

BSc. Biology
University of Liberia


Perry Z. Newray Jr graduated from the Monrovia College Industrial Training School. During his days in the Monrovia College, he scooped numerous accolades and graduated with honor of his class.

After his graduation from high school, he matriculated to the University of Liberia, T.J.R Faulkner College of Science and Technology, where he studied with a Biology major and a Chemistry minor. During his days at the University of Liberia he served the Biological Sciences Student Association and served in many positions, such as Secretary General, Financial Secretary, and Coordinator of seven standing committees.
Perry Newray is a 2016 graduate of the University of Liberia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.