We had the Zambezia Provincial Science Fair this past Saturday in the provincial capital of Quilimane. We had near 50 participating students representing 11 districts from across the province. The event consisted of an opening with cultural groups, followed by an HIV/AIDS theatre piece by a local JUNTOS group. Then came the exposition/judging period with voluntary HIV Testing occurring in another room at the same time, followed by the presentation of prizes. The two winners that will represent the province of Zambezia at the National Fair are a 10th grader who made a natural insecticide from fermented plants and acids and an 11th grader who made his own DJ mixing device from scrap! Overall there were 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each ciclo and three prizes for overall best community based project, best HIV/AIDS related project and best project by a female. One of our students in Alto Molocue took home 2nd Place for 8th-10th grades, parabens Belchuir!
The best part of the fair, 17 people were tested for HIV/SIDA and they all came back negative! All in all was a great opportunity to witness some Mozambican ingenuity and motivate kids to get into SCIENCE!
As the coordinator of the event, I am quite content with how the fair turned out and more than happy to hand over the organizing responsibilities to my sitemate Sam as he prepares for the National Fair on Sept 14th, also in Quilemane. The five days in Quilimane I spent prepping and realizing the provincial were by far the busiest I have been in Mozambique. The official budget and event plan was constantly changing and organizing a large event in Moz comes with some interesting hoops through which one must jump. But as stressful as it was at times, I felt great to be working on a project that I know has been and will continue to be a great success and help develop the future scientific community in Mozambique!