The Kumasi Academy (KUMACA) has been crowned winners of the maiden edition of the “STEMNNOVATION” competition.
Represented by their lead innovator, Master Prince Opoku, Kumasi Academy scored 24.6 points to secure the first position. Pope Johns Senior High School and Minor Seminary (Pope Johns), Koforidua, scored 24.4 points and Worawora Senior High School (WORASEC), who scored 23.8, placed second and third respectively.
Kumaca’s innovation was a prototype “smart house” fitted with a photo-resistant solar panel, smart gates, smoke-detector sensors and image sensors.
For their prizes, Kumaca received a cheque for GH¢ 12,000.00, a laptop computer and a printer, while Pope Johns took home GH¢7,000.00, a laptop and a printer and Worasec also had a cheque for GH¢ 5,000.00, a printer and a laptop computer.
The competition, organised by the Free Senior High School and Technical Vocational Education and Training (FSHS/ TVET) secretariat in collaboration with Cocktail Media under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, was to create a platform for students to practically display the application of their innovations in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
In all, 200 SHSs and TVET institutions took part in the competition.
Speaking at the grand finale of the competition, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, said STEM education had come to stay.
He said STEM remained the surest path to developing the country’s economy and the government remained committed to promoting it.
Dr Adutwum said the various innovation by all the 200 participating schools clearly demonstrated that the country’s potential in the area of STEM was not in doubt.
He, therefore, appealed to Universities in the country to take keen interest in the growth and development of the young ones who had demonstrated their capabilities in the area of STEM.
“What we have witnessed here today must encourage our tertiary institutions to offer scholarships to these children and help develop them before outside universities come to pouch them,” he stressed.
On her part, the deputy coordinator of the FSHS/TVET secretariat, Nana Sika Afrah Mensah, the brain behind the competition, said the contest was to test the practical abilities of students in their areas of study, especially in the areas of robotics, coding and other science-related practical lessons.
She indicated that all the contestants competed in the areas of solar for socio-economic development, recycling for socio-economic development as well as coding and programming for socio-economic development.
The deputy coordinator stated that the competition, apart from testing what students were studying at school, also allowed them to exhibit what they had acquired at school, at other learning places, work as team players and also learn how to solve societal challenges with their peers.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL