The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) is to hold a maiden science festival, slated for Wednesday, February 8, to Sunday February 12, this year, at its campus in Sunyani.
The main proposal of the five-day event is to combine three worlds – daily life, science and business, to show the relations and areas of integration among them, and the need to promote its study as a nation.
Mrs. Kamila Justina Kabo-bah, a lecturer, School of Geosciences at the University, announced these in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani.
She said to achieve the programme’s target, series of science-related shows, workshops, discussions, lectures and field trips, which is aimed at Junior/Senior High Schools (J/SHSs) and university students, have been lined up.
Mrs. Kabo-bah, who is also coordinator of the festival, said aside students, participants from the Brong-Ahafo Region would take part in the programme.
She said the participants would visit science laboratories and attend workplaces of scientists/researchers, science-related institutions, organisations and companies, to enable them “to know the scientific point of view on many issues and phenomena of daily life”.
Mrs. Kabo-bah indicated that “people are hindered by the intimidation and the cultural willingness to stay away from science, and if there is celebratory environment around science, one that gains a critical mass of great scientists, the general public and media attention can begin to influence that cultural perspective”.
She said that “with the nation’s energy challenges, it is important to develop a culture of seriousness with science and technology”.
Mrs. Kabo-bah also said the event sought to “popularise science” among J/SHS students and stimulate its study by most of them.
She expressed the hope that the event would give scientists and technologists the opportunity to suggest ways of addressing the country’s scientific and technological needs, because “credible models show that by the end of the century, essentially all of the fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal on earth will be consumed”.
Mrs. Kabo-bah announced that the university had planned to establish a permanent office by the end of the year for the festival to be held annually.
She said the organisers of the festival had arranged for the United States of America National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to present the “Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)” programme through tele-conference for the benefit of participants.
The GLOBE Programme is “an international science and education programme that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment”, Mrs. Kabo-bah explained.
She appealed to individuals and organisations to assist the university financially to make the festival successful.