General Electric (GE) in partnership with Junior Achievement Africa (JA) and Points of Lighthave embarked on a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) campaign to raise awareness and stimulate interest in STEM careers among Ghanaian junior high school students.
The campaign took place on November 11th at the St. Francis Xavier school hall in Kotobabi, Accra and was attended by over 200 students drawn from a pool of 10 public and private schools among the Unity Cluster of Schools. Participating schools included, Unity JHS, Kotobabi 13 JHS, St. Francis Xavier R/C Basic School, Darul Hijra Islamic Basic School, 37 Military Basic School, Flagstaff House Basic School, Ron Brown Memorial School, E P Bethel Prep School , Interco Prep School and Family Prep School.
GE’s Communications Manager of West Africa, Osagie Ogunbor, said millions of university graduates are ill prepared for the reality of the contemporary workplace either by the nature of the courses they study or the non-suitability of the curriculum. He said mentorship is key in bridging the gap between classroom instruction. “This is why we are partnering with Junior Achievement (JA) in Ghana to show the students the opportunities that abound in the STEM world and how they need to go about it.”
Speaking on behalf of JA Africa, Elizabeth Bintliff who is the CEO of the not-for-profit organization in Ghana said she was impressed with the turnout of GE and Google volunteers and the enthusiasm of the participating schools. She disclosed that Google was specifically working on a STEM curriculum to be used by students in primary and junior high schools after the campaign.
GE and Google employees also shared their job experiences and guided students in thinking about sustainable solutions to problems in their communities using STEM. The students were then broken into school teams to identify a problem in their community that can be addressed with a STEM solution. Representatives from each school delivered a presentation of their solutions to the judging panel consisting of two GE Volunteers, two school teachers and a Google volunteer. Flagstaff House Basic School took home the Grand Prize for developing a technological solution to tackle improper disposal of waste.
Their fabulous idea was to create an app that would teach individuals how to sort trash and recycle waste. Kotobabi 13 JHSemerged second place winner, and Ron Brown Memorial School in third place. All 3 teams were honored with trophies and book baskets with STEM textbooks and literature to be used in their school libraries. All participating students and teachers received a gift bag containing GE branded materials and JA gifts.