Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana and hostess of popular National Science and Maths quiz, Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann has challenged Junior High School (JHS) pupils to garner useful experiences by participating in various activities outside of the classroom.
According to her, what they [pupils] are learning in the classroom is not enough to make them innovators and problem solvers in whatever field they wish to be involved in, in the future.
“It’s not enough what you study in the classroom,” she said to JHS pupils and encouraged them to “continue by exposing yourself to different activities and different ideas.” This, she added is how they can build their creativity and initiative.
Dr. Kaufmann addressed a room full of eight (8) Junior High School teams from 16 schools namely; Nativity Presby Basic School, Gaku International School, Weija Presby JHS, St. Maurice R/C A & B JHS, Garrison Basic School, St Joseph’s the Worker, Weija Methodist 1, 2 & 3, Light of the World school complex, Gbawe cluster of schools and La Anglican 1 & 2 on ‘The future of Innovation’ at an event to climax ‘Shaping Healthy Attitudes and Protecting the Environment (SHAPE)’ project in Accra.
The hostess of National Science and Maths quiz further stressed on the need for them to study hard saying, it is the only way they can acquire knowledge and added that, “once you get the knowledge, then you can use that knowledge for something”.
Welcoming the participants and guest to the event, Dr. Thomas Tagoe, the SHAPE project coordinator and Operations Officer at GhScientific commended the pupils for the good work done and said: “The work produced by the students is proof that given the right opportunity, Ghanaian students can be just as innovative as students anywhere else in the world.”
“We are on the way to finding the next Einstein,” he added.
On his part, the Scientific Coordinator at Ghana Science Association, Mr. Wisdom Sylvanus Sebuava noted the importance and relevance of Science. He said Science is the bedrock of every development.
He advised the pupils to develop interest in Science especially the girls so that they can come up scientific and technological innovations that will be beneficial to society.
GhScientific in collaboration with Ghana Science Association launched the SHAPE project in December last year to engage pupils to identify pertinent problems in their community and develop their own solutions to fix those problems.
After taking the teams through training workshops comprising of presentation skills, data collection, project management and the scientific method for conducting research among others, the teams finally settled on their own project topics as follows:
- The Effect of Carbon Cycle Disruptions (The Sparkling Stars of Science)
- Impact of Poor Human Waste Disposal (The Blessed Blue Kings)
- You Are What You Breathe (Scholars of Nativity)
- Alternative Solid Waste Management (The Eco-Warriors)
- A Story of Water, Waste and Market Places (Agents of Change)
- Creating Sustainable Environment Clubs (Brainstormers)
- Alternative Approaches to Reducing the Impact of Mosquitoes on Health (Youth Environment Activists)
- Air Pollution In Urban Communities (St.Maurice Champions)
At the end of the project presentations, awards were given for the Most Practical Project, the Most Innovative Project and the Best Poster Presentation. The Best Teacher award went to Mrs. Helen Asamoah of the Gbawe Cluster of Schools for her relentless support and dedication to ensure her students made the most of the experience.
In her remarks, Co-founder and CEO of GhScientific, Mrs. Hephzi Angela Tagoe said “It’s beautiful to see how far the teams have come and the standard of projects that have been presented. This is exactly what we set out to achieve and we’re positive that all participants have been equipped to impact their communities through the Shape project.”