The Ghana Science & Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) Challenge is a dynamic educational programme for Junior High School students centered on providing young Ghanaians with knowledge and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Entrepreneurship . Students compete to produce products and services aimed at tackling key issues within their community.
Students from the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions are given the opportunity to identify problems in their community and develop solutions to these problems using STEM. The students are provided with resources, science kits, mentors and coaches to support them in the development of their projects. They also participate in industrial and media engagements to provide them with practical technical experiences and build their problem solving, presentation and communication skills.
This challenge prize is not focused purely driving towards grand prizes; rather it is designed to provide the appropriate incentivisation levels to engage young people, teachers and schools to engage in active learning models, through the development of community-focused products and services.
Key attributes of this prize are the nature of the resources and training provided, product development, acceleration models and pathways created to support continued development using STEM education
Junior High School students
Public and Private school youth ages, 11-16 primarily students within Junior High School (JHS) are encouraged to form teams of 4 to 6 team members and identify solutions to problems they face in their communities. The students are supported to develop prototypes of their solutions with STEM resources, materials, coaching and mentoring support. This is to help maximise their socio-economic development, prospects and opportunities for the future through STEM.
For students aged 14-18, a group of 25 young representatives from the Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti regions are chosen from the numerous applicants to become Youth Ambassadors as part of the Youth Steering Group (YSG) initiative of the GSTEP programme. The aim of the initiative is to help the participants connect, inspire and promote the benefits of (STEM) to the wider youth population while supporting them to use the skills acquired to achieve social impact and increase engagement and inclusion in Ghana’s STEM education sector.
The ambassadors are taken through a series of masterclasses, mentorship programs, and student hacks which will equip them with a range of social and employable skills
Through the programme over 500 teachers are being equipped with practical STEM knowledge, tools and skills on harnessing technology for social good and tackling real-world problems relevant to young people. Selected teachers see their students and assist them to come up with groundbreaking community products and services that could win their school substantial cash and other prizes.
Technical experts in Engineering are assigned to participating teams to provide practical technical knowledge and skills and support the students to develop prototypes of the ideas they submitted for the Challenge.
Each finalist team and Youth Ambassador is provided with a mentor who supports the students to build their knowledge in STEM and Entrepreneurship, experience real world applications of STEM and develop relevant 21st century skills including presentation and communication skills.
To learn more about the Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize and the challenge, visit the website – www.gstep.org.gh