The Impact of Practical STEM Education in Teaching & Learning

The importance of educating children in STEM cannot be overemphasized, considering the world we live in today. Technology has fast taken over daily activities that were usually done by humans and is putting people with limited skills out of jobs.

One thing that remains of relevance is that creators of new technology will never get out of business; people with future-driven skills who can identify problems. As a foundation, we believe the next generation despite their backgrounds should have the opportunity to thrive in our fast-paced world.

At last year’s Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) Challenge, we saw young innovators design human-centred solutions for their communities with help from their mentors and Teachers. In an interview with Mr Victor Agra, winner of the Most Outstanding Teacher Prize, GSTEP 2022, we discussed the impact the Challenge had on his students.

Victor first heard about the  GSTEP Challenge on WhatsApp and was excited about the idea of receiving support and resources to bring their innovations to life. He believed his students were up for the challenge and the chances of winning prizes fueled them.

As part of the Challenge, his students were not only exposed to entrepreneurial skills, but they were taught coding, and engineering and received public speaking training to prepare them for their final pitches.

When asked if he’s noticed any changes in his students after months of training, Victor explained that he had initially chosen students who were outspoken and had the desire to do practical work with their hands. After the mentoring and training phase, he realized they had become more confident and could articulate their thoughts much better. “They bonded together as a group and they have become coaches for other students who are interested in joining the challenge,” he added.

For Victor, the hardest part of the Challenge was getting their ideas on paper and getting the appropriate components to build a prototype. Despite their challenges, he recounts the 2022 GSTEP Challenge as an incredible experience for his team, where they got to learn new things, build an LPG Detector and even win second place!

Victor and his team are currently preparing other teams in his school for the 2023 GSTEP Challenge.

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