As an emerging economy, Ghana needs youth enthusiastic about STEM programs. The future scientists will be the ones who will uncover innovations that will help develop Ghana’s economy. Through hands-on workshops and experiential learning programs, the SIT will cultivate the next generation of African scientists. We train high schools, undergraduate and postgraduate students and provide the environment for less fortunate institutions conduct research out our institute and to make science accessible to students at an early age.
In picture: High school students evaluating soil nutrient levels of farms across the Penyi- Dzodze area.
It is projected that by 2050, about 70% of the world’s population will live in urban centers. The development of urban centers leads to increase in human population, loss of biodiversity and associated pollution and pathogen emergence which significantly impacts our wellbeing and health. This project is to develop workshops to educate the public especially inner-city students on climate change, biodiversity and pathogen tracking using emerging genetic tools. We will use the workshops to sequence environmental DNA (eDNA) in New England and to assess biodiversity at inner cities. The repository will be integrated into an early warning platform for crops, marine, animals and public health disease emergence
In picture: In picture: Greetings from Nature art workshop at Fenway Community Center.
Field research where we are documenting plants, insects and marine organisms for conservation working with local taxonomists and fishermen to identify both scientific names and local Ewe names for the organisms they collect. African plants, insects and marine specimens are under-represented in global repositories, so the collection of these specimens and data is particularly exciting. Through genome sequencing, gene editing, and cell line generation, SIT is developing climate adaptable plants that can withstand drought.
SIT maintains 4 repositories for biological research. These include the Sena Digital Plant Herbarium, which documents over 300 plant species; the Sena Food Recipe Repository, which documents over 500 food recipes in Ghana; the Sena Aquatic Life Conservation database, which documents about 100 marine species; and the Sena insect repository. By maintaining these databases, the SIT is able to facilitate ecological research, as well as both environmental and cultural conservation efforts.
At SIT, our mission is to facilitate the United Nations Sustainability Development goals, African Union Development Agency’s mission and strengthen global partnerships to foster economic and scientific development of Ghana and across Africa.