Meet Simon-Peter Frimpong, a 13-year old Ghanaian American from Aurora, Colorado. The 8th-grader is one of about 100 top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students from across the USA who have been invited to the 2016 White House Science Fair, scheduled for this Wednesday, April 13th.
The fair, which is President Obama’s sixth and last, is a hands-on showcase of student innovation – robots, prototypes, tools to help us fight cancer and climate change – all researched, designed and built by the next generation of America’s scientists.
Simon-Peter and two of his schoolmates from Horizon Middle School, Maya Max-Villard, 13, and Grayson Fast, 14, were inspired by a veteran at nearby Buckley Air Force Base who needed a more comfortable and functional prosthetic limb. The three young scientists designed and built a new artificial leg using computer design, and 3-D printing of prototypes, as well as interviews with the veteran and others for feedback. The team built a prosthetic leg that will allow the amputee to hike, manage uneven terrain, and even skateboard!
The part designed by Simon-Peter is what makes the prosthesis unique. As their STEM teacher, Ms. Mel Possehl put it, “…with the design [Simon Frimpong] made, the bottom comes off. So you have a walking part, then you have a part that hooks onto a longboard or a snowboard, then you have a part that hooks onto skis, and then a part that can do multiple things. It’s a multiple-use prototype.” The project was so innovative that it was selected as a finalist in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national competition, and then to participate in the 2016 White House Science Fair.
Simon-Peter is the son of Mr. Tony Frimpong, and Mrs. Yaa Frimpong (popularly known as Obaa Yaa), who is the secretary of NPP Colorado Chapter, and 2nd Vice Chairperson of NPP-USA Branch.
[Partly culled from the White House blog https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/04/08/science-fair-2016-meet-next-generation-americas-innovators]
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, a high school student from Long Island, N.Y., has a big decision to make soon. The Elmont High School valedictorian has been accepted at all eight Ivy League schools!
Schools in the Ivy League are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.
She also gained admission to Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Augusta is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, and she said her parents instilled in her the value of education.
“Though I was born here in America, I visited Nigeria many times,” she told WABC. “And I’ve seen that my cousins don’t have the same opportunities that I have. So definitely, whatever I do, I want to make sure that it has an impact on Nigeria.”
She also says that her own tenacity and persistence helped shape her into becoming a great student. But as with a lot of students, she did face hardships with some classes.
“I’ve struggled with numerous classes in the past,” Augusta told the station. “But I guess what allowed me to be successful, ultimately, in those classes, at the end, is my persistence and my tenacity.”
Augusta hasn’t decided which college to attend, but with a GPA of 101.6 and a recent invitation to the White House Science Fair, there’s no doubt that she’ll continue her academic excellence.
This week the authors issued a note explaining the mistake in their October 2015 Science paper on the genome of a 4,500-year-old man from Ethiopia1 — the first complete ancient human genome from Africa. The man was named after Mota Cave, where his remains were found.
In the Science paper, researchers confirmed this finding. The paper also suggested that populations across the continent still harbour significant ancestry from the Middle Eastern farmers who were behind the back-migration. Populations in East Africa, including Ethiopian highlanders who live near Mota Cave, carried the highest levels of Eurasian ancestry. But the team also found vestiges of the ‘backflow’ migration in West Africans and in a pygmy group in Central Africa, the Mbuti.
Andrea Manica, a population geneticist at the University of Cambridge, UK, who co-led the study, says the team made a mistake in its conclusion that the backflow reached western and central Africa. “The movement 3,000 years ago, or thereabouts, was limited to eastern Africa,” he says.
Manica says that the error occurred when his team compared genetic variants in the ancient Ethiopian man with those in the reference human genome. Incompatibility between the two software packages used caused some variants that the Ethiopian man shared with Europeans (whose DNA forms a large chunk of the human reference sequence) to be removed from the analysis. This made Mota man seem less closely related to modern European populations than he actually was — and in turn made contemporary African populations appear more closely related to Europeans. The researchers did have a script that they could have run to harmonize the two software packages, says Manica, but someone forgot to run it.
Pontus Skoglund, a population geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, says that he was surprised by the claim that as much as 6–7% of the ancestry of West and Central African groups came from the Eurasian migrants. But after obtaining the Mota man’s genome from Manica’s team, he and his colleague David Reich carried out their own comparison and found no evidence for that conclusion. They informed Manica’s team, who then discovered the processing error.
“Almost all of us agree there was some back-to-Africa gene flow, and it was a pretty big migration into East Africa,” says Skoglund. “But it did not reach West and Central Africa, at least not in a detectable way.” The error also undermines the paper’s original conclusion that many Africans carry Neanderthal DNA (inherited from Eurasians whose ancestors had interbred with the group).
Skoglund praised the paper — “the genome itself is just fantastic,” he says — and the researchers’ willingness to share their data and issue a speedy note about the error: they posted it online on 25 January. When asked to confirm whether and when it would publish the researchers’ update, a representative for Science said the journal couldn’t yet comment.
Manica is not yet sure if Science will change the title of the paper, ‘Ancient Ethiopian genome reveals extensive Eurasian admixture throughout the African continent’. But if the team had caught the error earlier, he says, “I’m sure we would have phrased things differently”.
East African Development Bank has launched the EADB Math, Science, Technology and Engineering University Scholarship Program, in partnership with The Africa-America Institute. Scholarships will be available to experienced teachers and lecturers with a bachelor’s degree in math, science, technology and engineering with an interest in pursuing a graduate degree in those fields in the United States at Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology, world-class universities less than an hour away from New York City.
Applicants must be:
A university graduate with a Bachelor’s degree with First Class/Upper Second Honours in Mathematics, Sciences or Engineering
Under 40 years of age and a citizen of the EADB Member States: Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda
Experienced Teachers and Lecturers of tertiary institutions, secondary schools, and polytechnics with at least 3 years full-time teaching experience
Working full-time in public, government owned educational institutions
Committed to returning to their home country, to teach in a public government owned institution which is a mandatory requirement
Diligent in successfully completing the application process by the allotted deadlines at Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology
This fully funded scholarship will provide full tuition, room and living expenses within a stipulated budget.
A qualified scholarship recipient will receive:
Full tuition, room and board plus living expenses and student’s annual health insurance so to pursue a Master’s degree in math and engineering.
Round-trip ticket to the USA at the beginning of the program and back to their home country in East Africa after the completion of the program.
Information about internships at top American and local companies working in Africa.
How do I apply for the scholarship?
Send your application to EADB/AAI to email, EADB@aaionline.org, with the below information. All submissions must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Terms and conditions apply. Application deadline is January 25, 2016.
Your name, age, and contact information including physical address
A copy of your Bachelors degree
Your final grades
One page essay on how you imagine the masters level education would advance your own career; and how you would then make a positive impact in advancing STEM skills development in your home country; also specify why you should be added to the pool of the applicants who can apply to Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology
Letter of support from your employer committing to employ you on completion of studies.
Upon review of your application, we will notify those who have been selected to proceed with the application at Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Only these candidates will be required to take the GRE and TOEFL standardized tests, see details below.
Application deadline at Rutgers University for Master applicants: March 31, 2016
First day of school at Rutgers University for Bachelor and Master: September 6, 2016
Note: International students’ orientation week is the last week in August each year.
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
Application deadline at New Jersey Institute of Technology for Master applicants: May 1, for the Fall and November 15 for the Spring Semester.
First day of school at New Jersey Institute of Technology for Bachelor and Master: September 6, 2016.
If you are invited to formally apply for the scholarship you will be required to take these two standardized tests. Both of these exams are offered at testing centers in the following countries (and are administered as a digital internet based exam.
GRE: You can register for the test online or by telephone by calling +1-800-473-2255
The cost of the exam is $195. USD The exam is offered Year-Round Monday through Saturdays at testing sites in East Africa. Call the number above or visit their website to determine the test center closest to your home. If visiting the website, create a User Account and then select your home country before registering for a Test Site.
TOEFL: You can register for the test online or by telephone by calling +1-609-771-7100
The cost of the exam is $190. USD The exam is offered at various dates throughout the year, at their testing sites in East Africa. Call the number above or visit their website to determine the test center closest to your home. If visiting the website, create a User Account and then select your home country before registering for a Test Site.
Confirmed TOEFL test sites include: Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
For both the GRE and the TOEFL, if an applicant cannot get to physically attend a test center, then a Paper Test can be ordered and sent to your home.
Note: International Applicants: It is recommended that international students begin the application process six months prior to the start of the semester to allow sufficient time for processing international credentials and applying for a student visa.
Student Visas: Students who are accepted into the program as an EADB Math and Engineering University Scholar will be required to comply with all relevant student visa rules and regulations. Valid student visas are required to apply to the Department of Homeland Security for admission into the United States at the port of entry. Students’ Form I-20 document (F and M visas) or DS-2019 document (J visas), which are issued by their institution, will allow them to maintain student status in the United States even if a visa expires during their studies. Click here for more information on the student visas.
Contact us: For more information about the EADB Math and Engineering University Scholarship Program, please visit www.aaionline.org
Founded in 1953, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a premier U.S.-based international organization dedicated to strengthening human capacity of Africans and promoting the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, program implementation and management. AAI raises funds to develop programs that focus on leadership and management, vocational training and entrepreneurship to help African youth develop leadership skills, become globally competitive and find sustainable employment.
The East African Development Bank (EADB) was established in 1967 with the remit to provide financial and other support to its member countries, which currently are Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Burundi has applied to become a member state. It was re-established under its own charter in 1980 after the break-up of the East African Co-operation in 1977. The new charter opened up the Bank to a wider membership and allowed for the introduction of consulting and advisory services.
The EADB’s loan portfolio is spread widely, but more than 60% of its lending is to projects in health and education, hotels and tourism, construction and building, electricity and water, and agriculture, all of which are central to the current and future prosperity of the region and its people. EADB sees education as immensely important for the future of East Africa.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Rutgers is a leading national research university and the state of New Jersey’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Established in 1766 and celebrating a milestone 250th anniversary in 2016, the university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 67,000 students and 22,000 faculty and staff learn, work, and serve the public at Rutgers locations across New Jersey and around the world.
We’re proud of our 130 years of history, but that’s only the beginning of our story – we’ve doubled the size of our campus in the last decade, pouring millions into major new research facilities to give our students the edge they need in today’s demanding high-tech marketplace.
NJIT offers 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in six specialized schools instructed by expert faculty, 98 percent of whom hold the highest degree in their field. We have amazing students from all over the world, and we rank #1 in New Jersey in awarding engineering degrees to African-American and Hispanic students.