N’tomo Innovation Academy (NIA) organized an intensive teacher-training session with the Local Teachers (LT) during the first week of July. Each local teacher is from one of our local partner schools: École du Progrès, Ecole Publique de Badalabougou, École de la Paix, École des Castors, and Groupe Scolaire Dianguina Coulibaly. Our Empowerment Agents (EA), young women and men who help with the instruction, were also trained at that time. They went through the different exercises in the curriculum and performed several dry runs to ensure that everyone understood the spirit of the NIA knowledge transfer process.
On Saturday, July 9th, the 2016 NIA Launch Event took place! The students, our future “Nerds”, arrived dressed up and eager to learn more about the upcoming activities! The VP of iNERDE-Mali, Mohamed Sangaré, gave a warm welcome speech followed by a young representative of the Cité des Enfants. Next, our Chief Nerd, Mohamed Kanté, gave an inspiring address. Program information was given and a camp alumni gave testimony. The event concluded with words from M. Diamant, the Director of Ecole du Progrès.
This week, we will learn a bit of what happened at the camp in Bamako, Mali. The theme for this year is Trans4M: What will you Transform? Inspired by the characters from the popular Transformer movies, the students are each assigned to one of four classes: Bumblebee, Starscream, Optimus Prime, or Megatron.
The first day was a busy one! The students were we welcomed in the Parlement des Enfants theatre by Chief Nerd Mohamed Kante as he introduced the LTs, EAs, and the onsite iNERDE Core Team members to the kids as well as reviewed the activities to come. They also had a delicious meal (Tchiepboudjene) especially cooked for our future scientists. The students are very excited to learn and transform the world!
The NIA summer camp is all about learning new things from various learning styles and fun activities! Rayelle Itoua Maïga, a PhD candidate in Biochemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, introduced them to the world of Science. Mohamed Niang, Director of Network Reliability at Orange Mali, highlighted the importance of mathematics in science to our students by sharing his personal story and career path as a telecommunication engineer. This theme was continued through a documentary on Alan Turing, an English mathematician who helped defeat the Nazis during World War II by inventing a decryption device called BOMB.
These are just some of the highlights of the first week. We look forward to bringing you more information next week!