The Good Shepherd Junior High School (JHS) in the Ashanti Region has won the 2021 Brain Battle Quiz (BBQ) National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Championship.
It defeated Ancilla School and St Theresa’s JHS at the finals of the second edition of the competition organised by the Cocktail Media in collaboration with the Education Directorate of the National Catholic Secretariat.
Good Shepherd JHS, the defending champion, won the contest with 72 points, while Ancilla School from the Greater Accra and St. Theresa’s JHS, Bono East, trailed with 37 and 22.5 points respectively after a three-round contest under the National STEM Quiz category.
The category features science experiments and application of practical concepts in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Applied Science.
The Brain Battle Quiz National STEM Championship is a practical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based contest held among Catholic basic schools across the country for pupils between the ages of 10 and 16.
It received GH¢10,000 worth of lab equipment, a Post -Secondary Scholarship to study undergraduate programmes in Canada for the contestants, sponsored by Centre for Higher Education Facilitation (CHIEF) and a trophy.
A total of 18 schools qualified to the national stage after contesting at the regional level, with three making it to the final contest.
Akatsi R/C JHS, Volta Region, won the 2021 National Junior Scientists category, which required schools to develop a project related to either Solar, Coding & Programming or Recycling out of 12 projects selected by a team of judges.
They received GH¢10,000 worth of HADSBAK Furniture Set sponsored by HADSBAK Furniture, a Post -Secondary Scholarship to study undergraduate programmes in Canada, sponsored by Centre for Higher Education Facilitation (CHIEF) and a trophy.
Mrs Olivia Serwaa Opare, Director of Science Education Unit, Ghana Education Service (GES) in a speech read on her behalf, commended the Ministry of Education and the GES for making some interventions to improve STEM Education in the country.
The interventions include the building of 20 STEM schools to train learners in STEM after JHS, establishment of regional STEM centres, and provision of 100 basic schools with science equipment and training under the name “BSTEM.”
She said they had partnered other stakeholders to organise various STEM activities such as the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) with Primetime Ghana, and the National Renewable Energy Challenge with the Energy Commission.
Mrs Opare noted that BBQ had been an innovative initiative, especially with its Hot Lab, a practical session that gave learners the opportunity to use lab equipment in solving problems.
“We believe this will be scaled to become the National Brain Battle Quiz for all JHS in Ghana and I will use this platform to call for sponsors to achieve that feat,” she said.
Ms Araba Bentum, the General Manager of Catholic Schools in Ghana, said the initiative was to encourage students to be creative and innovative and do away with the fear of Mathematics and Science.
‘‘We realised that STEM is the order of the day, therefore, we must encourage our children to take up STEM professions and to participate in STEM competitions,’’ she said.
She said it was also to bring unity among Catholic schools nationwide through healthy competitions and commended all Regional Managers, Head of Catholic Schools and sponsors for the cooperation and support.