The Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) has been launched as part of efforts to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
GSTEP, an initiative by Nesta Challenges, is also aimed at encouraging and supporting Junior High School (JHS) students between the ages of 11 and 16 as well as teachers to acquire practical skills relevant for the development of their communities.
Director of International Development for Nesta Challenges, Constance Agyemang, who was speaking at the launch of the pilot challenge on Tuesday, June 14, said the initiative will help build ICT and entrepreneur skills among students.
“Students are starting to learn practically through STEM but now we are saying ‘how do you apply with those skills and not learn how to solve a problem that you’re facing on a day to day basis?’.
“If you can identify a problem and think of how these STEM skills can help you achieve and address those problems, then we take them to the next level and add more value to an already good foundation,” she said.
Constance Agyemang explained to JoyNews that there is a need for corporate institutions to support the programme with funds.
“The sustainability of GSTEP is really important to us because we want to establish a program that will help everyone get ahead…I want to say in this case we need funding that will maintain the GSTEP programme.”
Some participants under the programme shared their experiences and what they have been able to invent.
“Through the programme, I have been able to find a problem and get a solution for it. After the programme, I have also been able to invent a DHL floor cleaner in order to help people in my society and also in the country.
“I encourage my fellow students to also learn science and mathematics in order to join the GSTEP ambassador youth programme,” they added.
A teacher at the Dansoman Community Basic and Special School, Edward Yakah, urged the management of GSTEP to increase the number of schools on the programme.
“I will advise that next year it shouldn’t be only Greater Accra and Ashanti regions but they should include other regions. We have other schools that are very good in other regions that have not yet been included in what GSTEP is trying to do.”
Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize is hoping to extend the programme to other regions after a successful piloting exercise, which begins in August.
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