JHS students display technology-related solutions in GSTEP challenge
Twenty-five (25) teams made up of Junior High School students from districts in the Ashanti Region have exhibited and displayed technological-related solutions to everyday societal problems they have identified during the Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize (GSTEP) competition in Kumasi.
The teams from the Ashanti Region will face their counterparts from schools in the Greater Accra Region which also consist of 25 teams for the ultimate title in the final stage of the GSTEP challenge.
A team consists of four to six students with a teacher as the team leader.
The teams went through a seven-week mentorship journey and were equipped with marketing and pitching skills in developing their prototypes as solutions to the various problems they identified.
One of the teams, Megaminds from the Mount Olivet School set up a system that will provide first-hand, up-to-date real data about fire outbreaks to the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and other relevant institutions.
The system can detect fires and provide real-time information on the location of the fire.
A member of the Megaminds team, Duah-Boasia Dwoboa said her group realized that officials of the Fire Service are not able to get to fire scenes on time and are sometimes misled by some members of the public about the incidents of fire.
She added that they identified that as a challenge since there is a continuous loss of lives and properties whenever there is a fire outbreak.
She further explained that the system will alert the fire service during a fire outbreak and will also provide them with an SMS alert which includes the GPS address of the location and imagery of how the fire started.
She believes her team’s solution of the system which comprises a smoke detector, a flame detector, a camera, and a GSM model will go a long way to enhance the work of the GNFS.
An all-female team called the Genius Six of Uaddara from the Uadarra Basic also developed an illuminated child road safety (I.C-RSD).
The device according to the team was designed to assist school children to cross busy streets safely following recent concerns by the National Road Safety about the incessant pedestrian knockdowns with school children being victims.
A mentor for the Genius Six of Uaddara team, Emmanuel Essien said “My team is an all-female team and as a mentor, I guide and coach them on the idea they brought for them to be able to build on what they have done. As a mentor, I coordinate with the GSTEP team and the student team. If they need any help regarding their project, I try and get it for them to make their work a reality.”
Other teams presented technology-related solutions ranging from agricultural to environmental challenges.
The Programs Manager at Foundervine, one of the partners of the GSTEP challenge, Elikem Kofi Anuako said the teams selected the problems themselves and the problems were community specifics because the teams were tasked to identify problems in their respective communities and find a solution.
He added that “one thing I will say is that watching the pitches you will realize that these students have been very observant and sensitive to the issues in their community and they have picked problems that may not be affecting the country at large but in their communities. So I believe that the best way the Government can come in and help or support us is for stance during the awards and exhibition or follow the journey seeing all these problems they have identified and the prototypes they have put together how to promote this into an actual innovation where they can solve these problems into their communities.”
The teams are expected to meet other participating groups in the Greater Accra region to make their final pitch where an overall winner will be selected.