Millicom Ghana Limited, operators of the Tigo mobile network has lent support to the first ever Robotics Inspired Science Education (R.I.S.E) workshop for 41 Senior High Schools in Ghana.

A statement from Tigo said three such workshops had been planned for schools in Accra, Takoradi and Tamale from October 3-11, 2011.

“The workshops will focus on real-life science and math problem-solving by making participants work with computers and robot construction kits,” the statement said. “This program is aimed at inspiring and energizing Ghanaian Senior High School students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

It said the workshops would be conducted by Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, a senior robotics engineer from the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The statement said participants at the workshops would also have hands-on experience in using Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 construction kits to build robots and programme them to perform various tasks,

It noted that as the teams’ skills develop over the course of the two-day workshop, they would work to accomplish tasks in the most efficient manner, or collaborate with other teams to jointly accomplish a task, much like scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and programmers work to solve problems and accomplish missions in the real world.

The statement said each of the 41 participating schools have agreed to present a Robotics Science Club of about 10 students and two teachers to work as a team during the workshops, adding that after the workshops, the Robotics Science Clubs in the schools would continue with robotics science studies in their schools.

It said the workshops would also equip participants to connect science theory with practice, and the equipment used during the workshops would stay at the schools to form the basic building blocks for the SHS robotics science clubs.

“The robotics science workshops will also provide each participating school club with a robotics science guidebook and curriculum such as one of the high school curricula available from the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy in the United States,” it said.

The workshops commence in Tamale from the third to the fourth October at the Tamale Secondary School, with thirteen senior high school clubs from the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions participating.

The Kofi Annan ICT Centre in Accra will host thirteen schools from the Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions on the sixth and seventh October while Ghana Secondary Technical School will welcome senior high schools from the Western, Central and Ashanti regions on the tenth and eleventh October 2011 in Takoradi.

The statement quoted Tigo’s Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Tuffour Mensa-Bonsu as saying “Millicom Ghana Limited believes in supporting the communities in which it operates and improving the quality of the lives of people in those communities, as part of its contribution towards the attainment of national developmental goals.”

Tuffour Mensa-Bonsu noted that Tigo recently equipped some senior high school students with entrepreneurship skills through the Young Entrepreneurs Africa Mentorship programme, with the aim of making them take on an entrepreneurship mindset at an early age while providing others with skills training through the Africa Ball Community Development (ABaCoDE) basketball project in Nima.

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