Prof. Aheto (1st left) and Dr Ampofo (3rd right)  with the students after their arrival at the Kotoka International Airport
Prof. Aheto (1st left) and Dr Ampofo (3rd right) with the students after their arrival at the Kotoka International Airport

WINNESEC students contest in STEM challenge

Eight students of Winneba Secondary School (WINNESEC) who participated in the World Smarts STEM Challenge organised by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) in Washington DC, United States of America (USA), have received a rousing welcome by some old students of the school.


The old students are Prof. John B.K. Aheto, the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the Winneba Old Students Association; Dr Kwame Ampofo, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, and Chief Teete Owusu-Nortey, the Vice-President of the old students association and a member of the Council of Elders of the school.

The students—Belinda Dogbe, Elizabeth Fosu, Roberta Quansah, Stephanie Obbo, Jezreel Abbey Sam, Gideon Nyarkoh, Derrick Quansah and David Yaw Edu Arthur— qualified to participate in the international event in the USA after their “Indigenous Water Purifier” project was picked as one of the top three among senior high schools (SHS).

A teacher of Chemistry and Integrated Science at WINNESEC, Mr Cosmos Eminah, who led the students to the US, told the media on arrival in Accra that the journey to the US began last year when IREX organised the World Smarts STEM Challenge programme for senior high school students.

“IREX wanted to shore up the interest of Ghanian and international students in Science. Various workshops were, therefore, held and SHS students and teachers in Ghana were urged to apply to take part in the US programme,” he said. 

To be eligible for selection to participate in the programme in the US, he said, Ghanaian students were expected to come up with innovative ideas and sustainable ways of solving problems in their communities. Of the many SHSs that applied for the programme in Accra, 17 were shortlisted, after which a competition was held to select the best for the US programme. 

According to Mr Eminah, the Indigenous Water Purifier was used to treat polluted water from the Gyangyanadze community in Winneba.

“We used materials such as moringa and nim tree leaves and charcoal to treat the water. The treated water was later taken to the Winneba Water Works where it was found to be 100 per cent contamination-free,” he noted.

He said the school collaborated with the McKinley Technology High School in the US to present the project at the challenge.

Dr Ampofo said old students of the school were proud of the current generation of students and encouraged them to continue to work hard.

“We want you to know that we care a lot about you and cherish what you do,” he said.

For his part, Mr Owusu-Nortey commended the headmistress of the school for bringing the institution to its current high position.

The Leader of the student team to the USA, Ms Obbo, said they were encouraged to find a solution to water pollution in the Gyangyanadze community which was causing the inhabitants so much distress and illnesses.


The World Smarts STEM Challenge programme in the USA was funded by the Carnegie Foundation. 

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