STEM and Health in Communities across Ghana through the Pavlis Honors College

Institution: Michigan Technological University
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Why This Project Is Important 

The legacy of partnerships through the Pavlis Honors College and Global Leadership Pathway in Ghana began almost 10 years ago. This project seeks to not only continue this legacy, but also expand these into new communities across Ghana. Through this project, students will not only have the chance to develop essential leadership and project skills, but also collaborate with community members in Ghana to create positive change. Not only do travelers communicate throughout the year with their contacts in country but receive guidance from the previous travel cohort to ensure continuity and develop a strong ecosystem of mentorship between years and across teams. Progress of the projects while the team is abroad can be found at .

Project Description 

STEM Education: This portion of the project focuses on finding creative and interactive ways to expand on the STEM portion of the curriculum in schools in both Babianeha and Sunyani. STEM education in Ghana is largely based around lectures and the goal of the project is to engage the students outside of that norm and encourage them to challenge the problems they will face throughout life in innovative ways. This will be achieved by developing a set of demonstrations and activities prior to travel based on the curriculum provided by teachers and also collaborating with teachers in the schools to develop new methods that combine the collectively shared knowledge between both groups.

Women's Health: Women’s health is not formally taught in Ghana, and young women are often left afraid and confused with their bodies. Compounding the issue, young women in rural areas often do not have access to sanitary products and may be forced to stay home from school while menstruating. Missing one week of school each month is highly detrimental to their education, so by hosting workshops designed to educate these young women about their bodies and teach them how to make reusable sanitary pads, this project will give young women access to an uninterrupted education, empowering them to pursue their life’s goals.

Community Center: This project will take place in the Babianeha Community Center. We would like to acquire books for the age groups between 8 and 16 years old with an emphasis in STEM literature and some in leisure literature. The center currently has books designed for a kindergarten reading level as well as high school/college level textbooks and we would like to facilitate in opening up a larger selection of literature to the local students of Babianeha. We would like to build some STEM kits for interactive education at the community center as well. We hope that this could aid in education at the local schools and provide more resources outside of the classroom.

UENR Collaboration: While the projects are designed to have a lasting positive impact, the projects themselves are really only completed during the 5 weeks that a team from Ghana is there. In order to ensure that the impacts of these projects are not only positive but are also felt more steadily throughout the year, we plan to seek out organizations at the University of Energy and Natural Resources to partner with. By forging these new partnerships, we not only bring in more knowledge but also help to ensure that the work we started in-country does not fade away once we leave. These partnerships also help to ensure that the projects stay relevant and address the problems the communities truly face, not just the ones we see at first glance.

Meet the Researchers

Rebecca Daniels

I am a biomedical engineering student in the Pavlis Honors College at Michigan Technological University graduating in May 2020. My goal is to use my degree to help create life saving technology in such away that it can be widely accessible. When I am not tutoring my peers, helping to complete projects in the University Archives, or working towards completing my degree, I am often found reading a good book or listening to music.

Lucinda Hall

Hi, my name is Lucinda, and I am a senior biochemistry and molecular biology student. Living in a small town in Michigan has caused me to expand my horizons in every way that I can find, and growing up in Girl Scouts helped me travel the world, appreciate volunteering, and empowered me to pursue a STEM career. It seemed like the Global Leadership pathway of Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honors College was a perfect fit for me. I currently work in a developmental biology research lab using fruit flies to study cancer pathways, and upon graduation, I will go for my Ph.D. studying treatments for cancer using our body’s own immune system. I also work as a resident assistant providing guidance and support to students living in Michigan Tech’s residence halls. In my free time, I enjoy skiing and playing in the Huskies Pep Band at Michigan Tech.

Tristan Hunt

Hey, my name is Tristan Hunt and I am a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student majoring in Global Leadership here at Michigan Technical University. I moved here from Kalamazoo, Michigan where I lived for high school and one year of middle school. Before then I had attended schools overseas when my father was in the military. I decided to join the Pavlis Honors Colleges Global Leadership Program after my freshman college year because I wanted to get more emphasis on leadership- something that has always been important to me. I hope to work with my cohort to introduce STEM education to some of the local schools and I am also planning to add some grade school level literature to the community center in Babianeha. I’m excited to get to gain this experience of going abroad as well as spending time with my cohort.

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of $800 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $59
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • STEM Education: Donations will allow us to buy materials for the demonstrations we will do in the schools in both Sunyani and Babianeha.
  • Women's Health: Donations will allow us to purchase materials specific to Ghana when we arrive in country and pick up any additional materials required to host the workshops.
  • Community Center: Donations will allow us to purchase a wide variety of educational and leisure books for the community to access as well as the materials for the STEM kits. Materials may also need to be acquired to make improvements to the community center to accommodate the added materials from the books and STEM kits.
  • UENR Collaboration: While the goal of this project is merely to reach out and create partnerships with organizations housed at the university, we would like to have the option of acquiring materials to collaborate on projects during our time there.

$5 (2/50)

Handwritten Thank You Note

$50 (1/20)

Postcard Sent from Ghana

$100 (2/10)

Small Souvenir from Ghana

$500 (0/4)

Large Souvenir from Ghana and Video Chat with Team

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