Ms Smeetha Singh

Ms Smeetha Singh

South Africa

University of Pretoria

Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute

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Work and Research

I am interested in the outcomes of leadership skills development for scientists and the benefits it can have for the world and future leaders of Africa. I am also involved in science communication strategies for scholars after spending a year at a science centre based at the University of Pretoria, where I discovered a deep passion for sharing science with the youth and non-scientists. I was attracted to and currently coordinate the Africa Science Leadership Programme as I feel many of the objectives of the programme align with effective science communication and the development of science leaders across the continent.

Fields Of Expertise

Leadership Science
Science Communication
Medicinal Plant Science

Research Profiles

My thoughts on solving world challenges with science

During my internship at a science centre at the University of Pretoria, I discovered that in addition to the general challenges with the transfer of knowledge in our education system, we also fail to support young learners to learn effectively. I came across countless children too afraid to attempt learning and who believed science was a scary concept for 'clever people'. Not only did this realization deeply sadden me but also sent me on a non-academic journey of trying out science clubs at primary schools. The intention with these such clubs is three-fold; (1) create regular sessions in which children can be supported to learn, i.e build a sense of confidence and courage by using positive re-enforcement and creative exercises, (2) encourage children to continue science and maths through secondary school and (3) encourage and teach scientific thinking which is beneficial in facing learning and overall life challenges. Ultimately, I realize that education alone, without the foundation of how to learn effectively, does not encourage effective science leaders. I believe that a strong theme resulting from ASLP projects target pain points like these and I also work on strategies to develop sustainable science sessions at schools.