1st National Life Sciences Competition for Secondary Schools in Nigeria launched


Abdullahi Tsanni

The maiden National Life Sciences Competition (NLSC) for Secondary Schools in Nigeria is an initiative of Science Communication Hub Nigeria (SciComNigeria) and TReND in Africa, supported by the Physiological Society UK; aimed at inspiring and motivating Nigerian secondary school students, including young girls, to develop genuine interests in life science courses and take up career paths in science.


Many brilliant and talented secondary school students in Nigeria are faced with numerous challenges including the lack of science role models and mentors, among others; when trying to take up career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


Hence, many students particularly girls become discouraged to go into STEM leading to severe reduction in the enrollment of students into the life sciences.


It was against this backdrop that SciComNigeria launched its first-ever National Life Science Competition (NLSC).


"With this initiative we hope to inspire and encourage young secondary school students through stories and debates that will engender positive conversations about opportunities in the life sciences,' said Dr. Mahmoud Bukar Maina, founder and director of SciComNigeria.


"Moreover, through our network of scientists, we hope to provide mentorship to selected secondary school students in Nigeria who intend to take up career paths in the life sciences," added Maina.


The NLSC initiative is focused on promoting the understanding of life science courses such as Physiology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, and Zoology, among secondary school students to inspire the next generation of scientists in Nigeria.



Timelines for NSLC 2020:

March 23 – May 1, 2020

Submission of Essays: Interested participants from across the secondary schools in Nigeria shall submit a 300 – 500 words essay describing their interests in any life science course, its importance to the society and how such course could substantially contribute towards solving contemporary societal challenges. The best 10 essays will be selected.

May 4 – June 5, 2020

Review of applications begins May 4 and selected students will be notified by June 5 .

June 8 – 11, 2020

National Life Science Debate/Interview: Authors of the 10 winning essays will be invited to represent their respective schools in a National Life Science debate organized via an online platform. The debate will be open for all interested viewers across Nigeria and the audience will be invited to vote at the end of the debate. The first, second, and third positions would be selected by Science Communication Hub Nigeria.

June 13 – July 13, 2020

Outreach and award ceremony: Science Communication Hub Nigeria will visit the school of the first prize recipient to organize an outreach activity to inspire them about physiological sciences and present the award to the winner. The second position and will also receive a prize, which will be posted to their schools.


1st position -- 50, 000 naira

2nd position -- 30, 000 naira

3rd position -- 20, 000 naira

Who can apply

Secondary School Students from across Nigeria (age range 11 – 18 years).

Deadline​ ​for submission of application​: Friday, 1 May, 2020. To apply, follow this link tiny.cc/z1fnlz. Deadline for submission of application: Friday, 10 April, 2020.

Note: Teachers, scientists, journalists and the general public will be highly encouraged to watch live debates online including on social media platforms and vote.

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