Held on the theme, “Building bridges-connecting people,” the contest challenged science departments of five senior high schools in Accra to design a model bridge for construction, using wood, strings and glue.
The five schools-O’Reilly, West Africa, Osu Presbyterian, Armed Forces and St. Mary’s SHSs, were made to test their prowess in the application of general science in civil engineering.
The participating students were briefed on the preparation of a model bridge and subsequently given a week to develop a sample for a presentation at a grand finale which took place last Friday.
Mr. Trent Collins, Regional Manager for KPC West Africa, speaking at the closing ceremony, said the contest, which was part of the company’s corporate social responsibility, was in line with the company’s vision of creating the platform for the skills training for more Ghanaians.
He commended the participating students for their efforts, and urged their respective schools to take advantage of the opportunities that the contest created.
Mr. Collins further lauded the skills showcased by the schools, saying “the level of knowledge and skills demonstrated by the students in the contest clearly showed that Ghanaians have unique skills in engineering which needed to be properly harnessed to enhance national development”.
“We have received positive reports since we began the competition in 2012. Students who have been taking part in our competitions are performing well in their academics and some are practising engineering,” he said.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times at the end of the contest in Accra, a member of the planning committee of the competition, Robert Boamah, who is also a senior staff at KPC, said the competition was held to promote emphasis on practical training in education.
According to Mr Boamah, the participating students have had their capacity enhanced to actualise the many dimensions of science learned in class into a practical civil engineering design.
He said it was time for schools to prepare their lessons taking into consideration the need to prioritise practical learning to support theory.
He said it was regrettable that graduates from some technical tertiary institutions in the country were unable to practically develop concepts taught in their schools.
“This is because the fundamental training to psyche students to develop interest in practical lessons had always eluded them at the basic and secondary schools,” he said.
Mr. Boamah noted that it was necessary to encourage schools to pursue curriculum that focus more on practical lessons and could help to enhance the capacity of students.
By Charles Amankwa