Africa-born particle physicist Ketevi Assamagan is a man on a science mission. His goal is to bring science education to a new generation of African youth through a traveling program known as the African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications, or ASP.
“Sometimes, people just need some help to be able to find the right resources,” said Assamagan, one of the founders. Assamagan works at the U.S. Energy Department’s Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, experimenting with a huge device or collider that beams tiny particles at each other, almost at the speed of light.
“So, together with some colleagues, we decided to create this school,” said Assamagan, who earned a doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1995. Gratitude to past mentors fueled the desire to start the ASP, said Assamagan, who was born in Guinea but grew up in Togo.
The ASP program runs for three weeks every two years in a different African country. The first was in 2010 in South Africa, with subsequent gatherings in Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda and Namibia. The next is planned for July 2020 in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Each workshop brings together up to 80 students, who are treated to intensive lectures and training by top-flight physicists.
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