Ghanaian youths who are exploiting various opportunities today to properly prepare themselves are the only youths who will actually become the leaders of tomorrow.
Making this assertion at Gbawe in Accra during the hand-over of a science laboratory refurbished and equipped by GH Scientific to the Gbawe Cluster of Schools, February 25, the Weija-Gbawe municipal director of education, Mr. Charles Odoom, advised Ghanaian youths not to take if for granted that all youths are leaders of tomorrow.
“Your lab will make us move from memorisation and recall to practicals; because science is the next level. And to my dear students, everybody will tell you that you are the future leaders. But I don’t agree to that. If you don’t prepare, you don’t become future leaders. The future is for the prepared.You have a lot of gadgets, the mobile phone is one of them; your time is not like my time. Use your time wisely. Learn. Prepare your mind, prepare your heart. Science is about having a knowledge and applying it. All these facilities that have been given us are for you to help you become better than the older generation. If you don’t use them, then you don’t become great. So, I implore you to maximise the opportunity so that you derive the full benefits,” Odoom urged.
Established in 1990, the Gbawe Cluster of Schools is a complex of eight different basic schools in the Gbawe sub-metro of the Weija-Gbawe municipal assembly in the Greater Accra region.
With a population currently estimated at about 5, 000 pupils, the cluster hitherto had no science laboratories. The science laboratory donated by the GH Scientific is expected to ease the situation.
In his speech Dr. Thomas Tagoe, chief operating officer of GH Scientific, challenged the beneficiary schools and students to take advantage of the new laboratory.
‘There are many people outside this schools who would like to assist you. Nowadays, we talk a lot about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics); be it in class, in schools. Everybody wants to do Biology or any of the STEM subjects. It just boils down to how you can take advantage of these opportunities. For example you have this beautiful library here; use it. Our colleagues from the Ghana Science Association are also here to make some presentations to you; take advantage of all of these. Because we are all very interested in you becoming great, and possibly even becoming better than we are today. And, the last thing I’ll say is that, It’s science. You are getting to that stage where you’ll just enjoy it: ask your research questions, find ways that you can get answers. Your teachers are always at hand to help you do that,’ Tagoe stated.
GHScientific is committed to
building capacity in STEM through outreach and community engagement.
“We thrive on the collective effort of our community, our partners and our stakeholders to impact our audience through our programs. Whether you are a STEM professional, an early career researcher, a student, an artist, business, school, or community group, we invite you to join us on our mission,” it says on its official website.
GHScientific also provides volunteering and work experience opportunities for people from underserved communities looking to find a place in the STEM community, helps bridge the gap between the public and science, and brings hands-on science activities to hard-to-reach audiences.
The company also works with families and communities to improve the reach of their science engagement through its STEM-inspired field trips, and holds
STEM career workshops to educate and help parents and their wards make informed career decisions.
Based on a UK model, the Lab13 at the Gbawe Cluster of schools is a room converted into a laboratory by GHScientific with funding support from Ignite Futures (UK) to serve as a space for students to explore science. It represents a space where student led scientific discovery and learning is encouraged under the guidance of a scientist in residence. Lab13 is an in-school space dedicated entirely to investigation, innovation and creativity; a space managed by young people; a space where children learn to be scientists as well as learning science.
The Gbawe Cluster of Schools was chosen to receive this lab after students excelled at an interschool competition organised by GHScientific. The competition which was known as the SHAPE Project saw students research and design innovative solutions to environmental challenges within their community.
The room was refurbished to include lab benches and work surfaces, pipes, stools, and a cupboard for storing supplies.
The items that were donated include charts, a number of 3D models, pipettes, beakers, chemical reagents and 10 science sets from Dext Technology.
Founded in 2015 by sibling Scientists Dr. Thomas Tagoe and Dr. Hephzi Angela Tagoe, GHScientific is a non-profit organization focused on building capacity in STEM through public engagement and outreach activities.
GHScientific currently runs a free membership program offering its members life changing experiences to enhance their educational or professional journeys in the STEM spaces.
It has previously executed 51 unique projects including an exhibition at the museum of science and technology and a yearly workshop for girls in senior high school introducing them to the practical aspects of various science professions.
By Martin-Luther C. King