From theory to reality: STEMNNOVATION unlocks potential in country’s youth
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has introduced a competition called ‘Stemnnovation’ that emphasises future-oriented learning, instead of relying solely on theoretical approaches.
The contest aims to revolutionise the country's educational landscape and showcase the minister's dedication to equipping the youth with the essential skills for success in the modern world.
Considering the changing environment, there is now a critical need to blend this theoretical foundation with practical problem-solving abilities that are applicable in real world scenarios.
Recognising this gap, Dr Adutwum's ‘Stemnnovation’ initiative not only complements the existing education system but also serves as a catalyst for transformation.
The maiden edition of the contest in 2022 saw notable achievements, particularly from non-elite schools, including Worawora Senior High School, which ranked among the top three.
That milestone underscored the contest's inclusive nature and broad impact.
Similarly, this year's edition features many non-elite schools, emphasising the contest's commitment to accessibility and diversity in education.
Final 24 schools
Twenty-four Senior High, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions have qualified for the grand finale of this year’s National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) project competition at the Cedi Conference Centre of the University of Ghana today and tomorrow.
All the qualified schools are currently preparing to showcase their unique projects which focus on their creative potential in finding solutions to challenges confronting their respective communities.
The Deputy Coordinator at the Free Senior High School Secretariat, Ms Afra Sika Mensah, told the media last Friday that this year’s edition was unique, making her upbeat that it would create an opportunity for the students to display their talents, teamwork and skills.
She indicated that all the participants, who are beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy, had been challenged to develop STEM projects on topics in the areas of urban gardening, clean water and flexible use of electricity.
Ms Mensah said frantic effort was being made to ensure that the contestants had a congenial atmosphere at the venue of the two-day contest.
She announced that the ultimate winner and all award winners would be offered juicy cash prizes, laptops and other accessories, as well as souvenirs from the sponsors of the event.
The deputy coordinator praised the Education Ministry and the other institutions which were supporting the project.
‘Stemnnovation’ is more than a competition; it represents a movement that encourages students from schools across the country to identify pressing community issues and utilise their STEM knowledge to create tangible and innovative solutions.
This approach perfectly aligns with the government's goal of promoting a technology-driven economy, ensuring that young Ghanaians are not just consumers but also creators and innovators in the field.
Dr Adutwum's forward-thinking approach is commendable, especially in today's world where technological progress is crucial for development, with Ghana not being an exception.
‘Stemnnovation’ clearly demonstrates that the government is not only focused on the present but is also strategically positioning the nation for future success.
By nurturing problem solvers, critical thinkers, and innovators among the youth, Ghana is poised to make advancements in technology and experience significant growth.
Moreover, ‘Stemnnovation’ seamlessly aligns with the government's commitment to inclusive education.
It provides a platform for all students, regardless of their background, to showcase their talents and contribute to progress.
This inclusiveness not only democratises education but also allows Ghana to tap into the diverse potential of its youth.
Dr Adutwum's ‘Stemnnovation’ is, therefore, a step that reaffirms the government's dedication to transforming Ghana's educational system and ultimately shaping its economic trajectory.
“It sends a message that Ghana is prepared to embrace a future driven by innovative thinkers and problem solvers.
“This effort goes beyond reforming education; it represents a revolution, a strategic manoeuvre that positions Ghana as a progressive and innovative country on the global stage," he said.
This year’s competition, launched on July 3, saw 249 schools applying, but only 116 were shortlisted after their projects were vetted and selected to begin the regional contest, leading to the qualification of 24 for the grand finale.
One distinctive feature about this year’s event is that the contestants have been meeting the judges face-to-face, unlike previously where some of the contests took place virtually.