Daily Video

May 11, 2021

Daily News Lesson: In her bid to end tuberculosis, Dr. Kamariza is shattering stereotypes

Cover photo: Dr. Mireille Kamariza as a young girl (left) in Burundi and now as a fellow (right) at Harvard University.



Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video above, click here.

Summary: Before COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB) was the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Though rare in the United States, the disease is prevalent in many parts of the world and kills millions each year. John Yang tells us of one scientist’s journey to the discovery both of a new tool to fight TB, and of her own potential.

  • Before COVID-19, tuberculosis was the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.4 million people in 2019, far more than HIV/AIDS.
  • Dr. Mireille Kamariza, 31, grew up in Burundi, a landlocked country in east Africa. She moved to the U.S. as a teenager and enrolled at a community college. Through mentors who encouraged her, Kamariza went on to Berkeley and Stanford and is now a fellow at Harvard.
  • At her Silicon Valley startup, Kamariza is working on a potential breakthrough diagnostic tool to fight tuberculosis. “I’m hoping that not only would [the tool] get to where it needs to be,” she said, “but I’m also hoping that the story of how it was made will inspire the people in those communities, whether they’re young boys or young girls.”


Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is interviewed in this piece?
  • Why did Kamariza say she didn’t think it was ever possible to become a scientist?
  • What is the invention that Kamariza is working on?
  • How does the pandemic make scientific progress harder?
  • When might the diagnostic tool be available to the public?

Then have students share with the class or through a Learning Management System (LMS).

Focus question: Do you think people’s personal experiences growing up including conversations with family members, friends and mentors affect their choices as adults, including career paths?

Media literacy: How do video chats like Zoom help people connect? Do you feel you missed anything with the reporter and guests not being in the same room? Explain.

Dig Deeper: 

1. Watch the SciGirls video below on Dr. Becca Cuellar, a medicinal chemist. You can also watch in Spanish here.

Short background: Dr. Cuellar is a medicinal chemist who works on inventing treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. She believes science is all around us, and everyone can take part in it. Her advice to girls is to not let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

Discussion questions:

  • What are some similarities between Dr. Cuellar and Dr. Kamariza with regards to their upbringing? What are some differences?
  • Why do you think both women emphasize the importance of believing in yourself?
  • Who gave Dr. Cuellar and Dr. Kamariza the fortitude and courage to pursue a career in STEM?
  • Can you think of a person in your life who has supported you in pursuing hobbies or courses of study or helped you build confidence in some way?

For SciGirls: Role Model Strategies, click here.

2. Once diagnostic tools and vaccines are invented to fight disease, what are ways to help the public understand their safety and helpfulness? Check out  this Lesson Plan: Invent ways to help get your community vaccinated. Then take a look at the rest of our Invention Education lesson series. 

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