[ January 2023 ]

This has been a great year for us, we have really enjoyed running projects that made us grow and meet many more people with whom we had the pleasure of sharing high-impact work. To celebrate it, we have created this newsletter that we will be sending you every four months with information about our organisation’s projects; where you will find a summary of our work with you and some news about future programmes.


We thank you all for your collaboration and we wish you a 2023 full of energy!


Meet the Microbes concluded with success



Meet the Microbes was part of our program for 2021-2022. A two-day workshop supported by the Society for Applied Microbiology (now Applied Microbiology International, AMI ) covering practical aspects of biology, chemistry and microbiology to promote practical-based education of microbiology.  Meet the Microbes aimed to bring hands-on science to four districts from mainly the Terai region of Nepal, where communities had not been exposed to any science beyond what is found in books. The four schools where the workshops were delivered were: Pipal Bhanjyang Secondary School (Sindhuli), Jhapa Model School (Jhapa), T.S.D. Higher Secondary School (Siraha) and Kanchan English Secondary School (Chapagaun).


Throughout our program, we explored soap making and the importance of hand washing, which was very relevant in covid times. We also learned about microbes that are beneficial to our day-to-day life with the workshops ‘Life behind Yogurt and Bread’ and ‘Microalgae’ and about the microbes we need to be careful with through the workshops ‘Zoo in your pond’ and ‘Make your own microbe!’. The success of the program was clearly witnessed by the excitement in the eyes of the students and the eagerness in each of them to perform the activities themselves. We engaged over 140 participants that rated our program with an average score of 4.7/5. At the end of our program, we were very happy to get the opportunity to share our success story via The Microbiologist, the AMI magazine.



ENwS, a proud co-organiser of ICBB-2022



The International Conference on Bioscience and Biotechnology-2022 (ICBB-2022) was jointly organised by the Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB) and the University of Nepal Development Board (UoN-DB). Engage Nepal with Science (ENwS) co-organised the event along with Phutung Research Institute (PRI) and Kathmandu Research Institute for Biological Sciences (KRIBS). The conference was held in Sauraha, Nepal and spanned four days featuring workshops, plenary lectures, invited talks, oral and poster presentations. The hybrid meeting included scientists and researchers from 11 countries, with 126 in-person participants and more than 500 online participants. During the first day of the conference, ENwS also conducted a workshop at a local hostel, School Rise Hostel. The hands-on science workshops included a soap-making demonstration along with activities on plant/animal cells, microbes and algae. A total of 40 students from 7-15 years of age and 3 teachers attended the workshop. The wide a variety of age groups participating made the program very interesting as we were able to get perspectives from children as young as seven years old to higher secondary students.


Apart from the workshop, ENwS also presented a poster with the recent works on the Meet the Microbes and Connecting the Climate Challenge projects along with a stall providing information about the organisation. Our stall and poster engaged a good number of viewers, and it was a good opportunity to showcase our work and gather feedback and appreciation from such a scientific crowd!  


Building bird shelters with the small ones


This year we started to work on environmental education with the youngest ones via several practical workshops to promote environmental awareness from a very young age. One of them was a workshop that focused on building birdhouses and that we carried out with Sungabha English School (Thaiba) and Mount View English Boarding School (Balkot). The workshop was addressed to students from classes 4 and 5, and so far, 112 students have participated. This workshop explores the importance of birds in our ecosystems, how birds can be sensors of changes in weather patterns and climate change and covers how to build bird houses using re-used materials like plastic bottles or cartoons.


Gamification tools for teachers and educators


Gamification is the incorporation of game elements into non-game settings, providing an opportunity to help teachers and trainers to increase student motivation and engagement. Our workshop explores digital gamification tools in learning and education at different levels and has been running in different educational centres with scientists, teachers and educators from primary/secondary schools and universities/colleges. The aim is to offer novel educational tools to encourage student participation and motivation in class. So far, 80 people have participated in the first level of the workshop and the feedback from participants has been very positive. The first level focuses on tools to create games and quizzes, as well as dynamic interactive presentations. In 2021 and 2022 the workshop has been delivered at Manipal College of Medical Sciences (Pokhara), Hill Point Secondary School (Pokhara), the Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (Lalitpur), Pokhara University and Mount View English Boarding School (Balkot). We hope that many more centres will join this challenge! 


Connecting the Climate Challenge - The Future


Our biggest project so far, Connecting the climate challenge, supported by the British Council and the Eurofins Foundation, connects communities in Nepal and Scotland to learn from each other’s lived experiences and join forces to tackle the climate crisis and become responsible, active global citizens, while building long-lasting bridges between their communities. As part of this project, a three-day in-person workshop was organised from the 1st to the 3rd of November 2022 at Mirabel Hotel Resort, Dhulikhel. Ten schools participated in the workshop with 5 students and 2 teachers from each of the schools. The event was an opportunity to network and reflect on the challenges and opportunities arising from the project and to share ideas on how we can continue to grow environmental engagement globally and locally. The event had a strong impact on networking and idea-sharing within all the schools participating, which came from different parts of the country. It was very inspiring for the ENwS team as well as for all the participants to share and hear about everyone’s efforts and plans to tackle the climate crisis; it was huge to hear everything that we have achieved together! The program also incorporated sessions on art and comics, delivered by Neil Bratchpiece- University of Edinburgh and Suresh Shrestha- Srijanalaya, as ways to express environmental knowledge and inspire climate action. 


‘Learning for Sustainability’ and ‘Global citizenship’ were also topics discussed during the program. We were very happy to have Mr. Bhakshish Bhatia, an educator from Mount Abu School, Shalimar Bagh, India as an invited speaker. The overall event was very empowering due to all the networking, reflecting and discussions shared about the climate crisis.


Optics in our daily life


Originally, ENwS focused on the biological and chemical aspects of the science curriculum. However, to provide a complete package to our students, incorporating physics in our workshops had become crucial. Therefore, ENwS collaborated with Phutung Research Institute (PRI) to design a one-day workshop focusing on the use of physics in our daily lives. The workshop Optics in Our Daily Life was conducted in two schools (Buddha Vision Academy, Dhading and Mahendra Madhyamik Vidhalaya, Tulsipur) and supported by the SPIE outreach grantThe workshops consisted in two modules - the first one detailing lenses and microscopy, and the second one focusing on solar energy. The hands-on activity demonstrating the bending of light through different types of lenses kept the students captivated and amazed. The satisfaction was very profound on each of their faces as they could see the bending phenomenon happening right in front of their eyes; something they had only learnt to draw a figure of.


The students were so enthusiastic, that we ended up having 53 students for a session which was originally planned for 30 students at one of the schools, and in the other - many students asked us to come back because they couldn't attend our session (limited by physical space in school, and our workshop capacity). A total number of 80 students were engaged covering ages from 11 to 18 years old. Like with our other projects, we are looking to expand this project and engage more schools in days to come.

Women in STEM series of talks


At the end of 2022, we had our very first series of Women in STEM talks to celebrate the role of women in science and inspire young generations. The first session was delivered by Ms Suvechhya Bastola, a Researcher and Public Engagement Manager at Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology (RIBB). who shared her experiences as a microbiologist and presented a recent project that aimed to test water quality in Nepal. The second session was carried out by Ms Anusha Thapa, who talked about her career and research on diabetes. Since diabetes is common in Nepalese society, this session was very informative. The third session was conducted by Linnea Borg, where she talked about the motivation behind her career in the technology field. The participating students were fascinated by her work on robots and were able to discuss the role of technology in today's society. The final session for this series was by Dr Alba Abad, Researcher at the Wellcome Centre for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh and also the founder of ENwS. She talked about her experience as a life sciences researcher and discussed about cells, DNA and cell division giving some interesting facts that students found fascinating. All the four presenters also shared their childhood experiences which helped to connect with the audience. A total of 400 students from 6 different schools participated in this series, which gave a valuable opportunity to students to learn about different career paths from women in STEM at different stages of their careers. Due to the continued interest from the participating students, teachers and schools, a second series is being planned to start coinciding with the International day of Women and Girls in Science 2023.  

Coming soon...

2023 brings the continuation of projects that have been successful in the past years and the start of new ones. One of our new projects, Green Detectives, will continue to work with students to promote climate change awareness. Green Detectives is supported by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) and aims to develop a smartphone game/app that will be part of a national inter-school competition, which we will soon be able to tell you more about! We will also continue to work on providing alternative gender models with our Women in Science series of talks. Moreover, we aim to start with new projects that focus on the role of girls and women in science as agents of social change. This will become the main focus of our work this year. 


Stay tuned!

Engage Nepal with Science is a registered Scottish charity | Charity No. SC050929. This newsletter only contains information about our programmes, we do not sell any products or advertise anything.

Thank you!