“I am here to show you the effects of second hand smoking”. These were the opening words by Emmanuella Getor, a primary 6 pupil from A.M.A Zion Junior High School in Pokuase as she stood before the audience to showcase her team’s project.
Emmanuella was representing her team, a collaboration of The Exploratory science clubs in Pokuase. Emmanuella’s team, ‘Eris’ was one of seven others in the finals of the SolveForGhana competition which was held at the Museum of Science and Technology on Friday 20th April. The eight teams – 4 primary and 4 junior high school teams – made it through the preliminaries to book a place at the finals where they were tasked to design a teaching aid for human biology.
Delivering the keynote opening address of the finals competition, Ms Berthy Buah, the Regional Science Coordinator expressed her pleasure and the importance of such activities towards the growth of the students if they are to pursue further studies in science.
Acting as a judge for the competition, Delali Ed-Bansah a practising physiotherapist was impressed by the efforts displayed by the students. She had this to say, “The projects were impressive and innovative, some students even exhibited knowledge beyond what I will expect them to know at their level.” The projects were judged based on criteria including creativity, design merit such as user friendliness, team performance and presentation.
At the end of the competition, Team ‘Science Masters’ were crowned winners of the primary competition with their project displaying what happens to the lungs of second hand smokers, using everyday items such as bottles, straws and cardboards. Team ‘Explo-Jet’ who built a functional model of the heart, complete with blood being pumped around were crowned winners of the junior high category.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, Mark, the science teacher at Berekuso JHS could not contain his excitement over the teams victory “We were constrained for time while preparing for this competition, however I am pleased that the students were completely committed and really engaged in the process. We won it last year, have done the same this year and I am challenging them to keep it up for next year”
This was the second SolveForGhana competition held by The Exploratory. The first edition held last year was under the theme #Dumsor, and teams designed alternative sources of generating power. When asked what the future held for #SolveForGhana, the Exploratory director, Dr. Connie Chow has this to say “Next year, we want the fair to be bigger and more challenging. We want to incorporate science and technology, give the students an opportunity to really push themselves. I have seen what they can do and I know they are capable of so much more”
The competition, which has become a regular on the Ghanaian STEM calendar of events was supported by other STEM organisations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, GhScientific, Global Lab Ghana, Young At Heart and Dext Technologies.