The past few years has seen a dynamic shift in focus towards increasing the inclusion of females in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Organizations such as the DreamOval Foundation, are implementing programs in STEM to increase the opportunities for the youth, to acquire relevant skills to compete globally while improving quality of lives in communities across Ghana.
The Genius Six of Uaddara Basic is one of the finalist teams representing the Ashanti Region in this year’s Ghana Science & Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) Challenge. The team is one of the two all female teams participating in the Challenge.
The members of the Genius Six of Uaddara Basic team are students of Uaddara Basic School, in the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly of the Ashanti Region. The team members are Priscilla Appiah, Priscilla Osei Tutu, Comfort Easel, Persis Oppong Agyemang and Princess Helina Korankye Agyemang. They are led by their teacher Richard Adomako.
The GSTEP Challenge is a challenge prize that seeks to facilitate the generation of STEM ideas by young Ghanaians through the development of enterprising solutions and products that address challenges in communities across Ghana.
Students grouped in teams of 4 to 6 compete to produce products and services using STEM, with the aim of improving key issues in their communities. This year 50 teams were selected in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions to participate in the Challenge of which the Genius Six are a part.
Each member of the Genius Six team is a member of the Science club at school and they enjoy studying subjects such Science, Mathematics, ICT & Pre Technical Skills. Their teachers make efforts to make the subjects as practical as possible which helps them enjoy their classes.
They are also encouraged to participate in several projects especially in recycling. Majority of their teachers in these subjects are also females which influences their interest in participating in STEM projects.
The Genius Six of Uaddara identified that the safety of themselves and their schoolmates is compromised due to high vehicular movements as a result of the proximity of the school to the Komfo Anokye Hospital. They are developing an illuminated child road safety device that will help students to cross safely to school. Richard Adomako, their teacher and team lead, says each team member shows significant interest in STEM and they all want to pursue courses in the Sciences after they graduate from Junior High School.
The GSTEP Challenge is moving into its judging phase where the ideas of each team will be assessed and winners will be selected. The Challenge is being implemented by a consortium of 5 organizations led by DreamOval Foundation and they include Challenge Works UK, Foundervine UK, MEST Africa and DEXT Technology.
The GSTEP Challenge is funded by Fondation Botnar; a Swiss philanthropic organization that supports ideas that bring the potential of AI and digital technology to life to create better, more inclusive spaces and platforms that support young people’s wellbeing. To learn more about the GSTEP program, visit www.gstep.org.gh