Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), hold the key not only to well-paid jobs in fast-growing markets, but also to solving the global challenges society needs – and young people want – to solve. If students have their hearts set on making the world a better place, they should have their minds set on mastering STEM (Source: The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016 Report).
Owing to this, on Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 80 STEM Bridge Clubs members comprising of 52 males and 28 females from Nsein, Nkroful and Baidoo Bonsoe Senior High Schools (SHS) all beneficiary schools under the Educate to Innovate with STEM Project in the Western Region embarked on an industrial trip to the Takoradi Thermal Plant (TTP) in Aboadze in the Shama District of the Western Region.
The educational industrial trip formed part of the Project activities augmenting the club members already acquired classroom knowledge and providing students the opportunity to practically learn the importance of applied STEM, give exposure and afford students the prospects of gaining full awareness about how they can pursue STEM education and career to a higher level.
On arrival, students were oriented by Mr. Kofi Obeng Technical Information’s Officer from the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department of the plant. In his presentation, Mr. Obeng highlighted the importance of observing health and safety at the plant, a brief history and operations of the plant and how electricity is generated for distribution. He introduced the students to the varied STEM careers available at the plant, encouraging them to be focused and take studies seriously. In his view, he observed that, students should not only focus on only electrical or mechanical engineering but can also pursue laboratory technicians petrochemical engineering and Information technology to work at the plant.
Following the presentation, members of the club and accompanying teachers were given tutorial tour around the plant, introduced to structures, heavy operating machinery and processes undertaken to generate electricity at the plant.
Students who had the first time exposure as a result of the Tullow Ghana Limited funded Project, l implemented by the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) expressed delight in participating in the educational trip.
Master Shadrack Assayaw a final year student of the Nkroful SHS, from Dixcove and whose father is a fisherman from Shama indicated the trip had empowered him to pursue his dream of being a Petrochemical engineer.
Master Godfred Afful, also a final year student of Nkroful SHS whose parents are fisher folks from Ampain also said: “This excursion has motivated me to be the Engineer I want to be. “
On his part, Master Anthony Amon, a third year student from Nsein Senior High School and from Twenen in the Jomoro district indicated his motivation to be an electrical engineer and to invent a miniature thermal plant to support rural communities with challenges accessing power from the national grid.
Miss Irene Amenlemah the Girl’s prefect of Nsein SHS who hails from Teleku Bukazo from the Ellembele District and Miss Justina Melaba a student from Nkroful SHS and a native of Mpataba both expressed hopefulness of pursuing their dream of being engineers after noticing females engineers at the plant.
A teacher, Mr Richard Larnyo, who has been teaching Integrated Science at Nsein SHS for 10 years, indicated the trip was his first time of visiting the plant. According to him the exposure gained will guide and change his methodology of advices to his students having been able to practically relate the generation of electricity to theory.
Speaking to the YBF Team, Mr Daniel Tetteh and Mr Stephen Eghan, both Chemistry tutors of Nkroful and Baidoo Bonsoe SHS individually expressed appreciation to Tullow Ghana limited and YBF for the exposure. In their view, the education should not only focus on the passing of exams but to be able to relate theory to practical especially among science students, adding that, teachers will also be able to cite examples when teaching thermal energy based on the practical knowledge acquired and exchanged.
With the primary aim to provide an opportunity for meaningful STEM learning for students at the STEM SHS level in a supportive and fun environment, STEM Bridge Clubs were formed in 10 Senior High Schools in the Project districts.
The activity under the Tullow funded “Educate to Innovate with STEM” initiative and being implemented by the YBF forms part of the Education and Mentorship support to beneficiary SHS.
|1||Nkroful Senior High School||17||11||28|
|2||Nsein Senior High School||16||12||28|
|3||Baidoo Bonsoe Senior High Technical School||19||5||24|