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Diversity & Inclusion


Our team is comprised of individuals from various majors and year groups, hailing from countries such as Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya, and Zambia. The AshesiGhana team boasts a diverse and complementary composition. A notable aspect of our team is that all members had no prior experience in synthetic biology before this year's iGEM season. Our team consists of six engineering students specializing in mechanical and electrical fields, as well as five computer science students.

We were fortunate to have the guidance and support of an amazing principal investigator (PI) and an instructor throughout the iGEM period, who motivated us to persevere through tough times. We are proud of our accomplishments as a team and cherished the time we spent working and having fun together. Biolith for gold!

Info Session with Ashesi University Students

The Ashesi iGEM 2023 team organized an info session with Ashesi students to raise awareness about synthetic biology. This gathering invited Ashesi students of all majors, nationalities and year groups to attend. The session was not a strict presentation session but a conversation we were having with the students. In introducing synthetic biology, we posed questions such as whether bacteria are beneficial to society or not, which invited the opinions and thoughts of the audience. It was therefore an interactive discussion between the team and the Ashesi students and everyone was allowed to speak freely and express their point of view on the subject matter. Earlier on, majority of the students seemed to find the idea of our bacteria-based solution unsafe; however, after explaining thoroughly the measures we put in place to ensure the safety of our users and product, they begun to agree that it was indeed a good idea and a beneficial one to miners and local communities. We enjoyed including the Ashesi community in the conversation concerning synthetic biology and our project also.

Career Session with Kwabenya Senior High School

The Ashesi 2023 iGEM team collaborated with UniGhana, a startup formed by Ashesi University students with the aim of providing senior high school students with information regarding the universities in Ghana and providing assistance in the advancement of their education. The iGEM team assisted by enlightening the students on some STEM related majors and career paths including those related to synthetic biology. It was intriguing to interact with them and most importantly, we noticed how the majority of the students were unprepared in terms of their career goals and future. We therefore saw the necessity of including them in this session and even informed them of how they could explore the different options and opportunities available for them to further their education.

Synthetic Biology Info Session with Senior High School students

Aside from college students, we wanted to include students of a younger age group into the discussion as well. Thus, we visited East Airport International School in Accra where we interacted with the science students in the sixth form(mixture of Ghanaian and Indian students). We shed more light on synthetic biology related career paths and explained to them how synthetic biology cuts across different disciplines and industries with examples. Upon asking them what came to mind when the word ‘bacteria’ was mentioned, words such as ‘pathogen’, ‘germs’ and ‘prokaryotic cells’ came up. Thus, we went on further to explain to them how beneficial bacteria can be and some examples of how it is helpful to humans. As they are a younger generation and would soon be attending university, it was necessary to speak with them to provide them with career path options they can look into if they are interested in pursuing synthetic biology as a career in the future.