December 2, 2022
After 7 weeks of mentoring, coaching and STEM related activities, finalists of the GSTEP Challenge presented and pitched their ideas for the Challenge to a panel of judges at events held in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.
The events were held on the 24th and 25th of November 2022 at the Church of Latter Days Saints Church in Oyarifa, Accra and the 30th of November and 1st December 2022 at the Kumasi Anglican Senior High School in the Ashanti Region. Finalist teams presented the prototypes they developed over the course of the Finalist Support Stage, explained how the prototypes worked and what they were seeking to achieve with the prototype.
The ideas and presentations by the finalist teams were assessed by a panel of five (5) judges. They included Makafui Awuku, an Entrepreneur, Environmentalist and Innovator, Leslie Awere Kyere, A Civil Engineer, Angela Duho, a Business Professional, Eugenia Techie Menson, an Educator and Johannes Thomas Arthur, an Artist with experience in digital design and sustainable product design.
The judges assessed the prototypes presented by the teams on the basis of their innovativeness, impact, business viability, feasibility of the projects, the extent to which the teams collaborated to implement the project successfully as well as their presentation skills while pitching. Judges also gave feedback to the teams on their projects to help them refine or expand their projects.
In both Accra and Kumasi, 14 finalist teams presented their ideas on Day 1 of the Judging Events and 11 teams presented their ideas on Day 2 of the Events. The prototypes presented covered several areas including Education, the Environment, Sustainability, Agriculture, Health, among others. Some teams showed nervousness while others showed confidence before they pitched their ideas to the judges. Many were exhilarated that they were able to complete their presentation and were confident that they could win the competition.
For many, particularly teachers and head teachers, they were glad that their students had been given the opportunity to participate in activities that gave them experiences beyond the classroom. Many were amazed by the efforts of their pupils and were extremely grateful to the DreamOval Foundation and the GSTEP team for offering their students the opportunity to explore opportunities and experiences that they otherwise would not have been able to provide their students.
Present at the events were coaches and mentors of some of the finalist teams. It was exciting seeing mentors and coaches cheer their teams on while they presented. Many were excited to be given the opportunity to share the knowledge they have with the finalist teams they were assigned to. For some, the Challenge gave them the opportunity to also learn more to be able to provide the needed support for their teams and they were grateful to the GSTEP team for this opportunity.
Many of the finalist teams expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the GSTEP team for giving them the opportunity to participate in the program. For many, the Challenge has enabled them to deepen their knowledge and develop solutions that will change the lives and livelihoods of their communities and people around them. It was indeed a warming experience for team members of the GSTEP Challenge program seeing the innovative outcomes of the hard work that was put into the program.