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As you have already heard from the introduction, I am a true daughter of the soil who has Abor and its surrounding communities on my heart and because I have a desire to involve myself in things that will develop the land, especially having to do with the youth, who are our future generation in the Volta Region in particular, and the nation at large, this STEM Fair was birthed out of that desire to be of assistance in the development of Abor and the region.

 

As we all know Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education abbreviated as STEM is a great way to build individuals, especially the youth, like you students here, to become creative problem solvers of your communities and change the world around you, for the better. In essence, while others complain about the world around, STEM helps you to find solutions to the problems around you.

The idea to organize this STEM FAIR began when I first took part in such an event for Schools in and around Vienna, Austria about 15 years ago. The enthusiasm of the students to create and invent, using simple materials around them, brought to me, the realization that if given the same playing field, students anywhere in the world including my hometown Abor and surrounding, will be able to marry intelligence and creativity, that bring forth inventions just like those from famous inventors of the past.

 

As Nikola Tesla “The genius who lit the world” used to say, My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe, there is a core from which we obtain all knowledge, strength and inspiration. This STEM fair is therefore the opportunity for you students to tap into the Universe – with your mind – in order to obtain that knowledge, strength and inspiration that will help you to discover the genius within and become the inventor of your dreams.

 Watch Live videos from the event capturing an interview with  MD OF ORMI: 

We all know that great inventors such as  the Wright brothers (Orville and Wilbur) who invented the aero plane, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, invented the light bulb, and Albert Einstein, the theory of relativity, were all inspired  by their curiosity and probe into STEM to bring about their great inventions that benefit you and I today.

This is true as asserted by Ainissa Ramirez, a Science Evangelist who said “Creativity is the secret sauce to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

While some inventors developed in their laboratories through experiments of trial and errors, others had their inventions by accident and some others through vision, after many frustrating efforts to solve problems.

For instance John J. Loud, a Harvard-educated lawyer, leather tanner, and inventor. “In his leather tanning business, he often had to mark-up leather to note where to cut it, and found that a pencil couldn’t do the job, and a fountain pen was just too messy. This challenge inspired him to create a writing instrument with a small rotating metal ball that was held in place by a socket. On October 30, 1888, Loud obtained patent #392,046, which is the first patent for the ballpoint pen”,-https://www.pens.com/blog/the-inventor-behind-the-modern-ballpoint-pen/    

In Africa and for that matter Ghana, the notion is that our education system is too much of theory and less practical. No chance for creativity in such a system. Consequently, our human resource is less productive. Thankfully in recent times, the nation is responding bit by bit to STEM, which is geared towards producing curious and creative minds in our students and the citizenry to be creative and productive, thereby solving problems to make life easier for themselves and their communities.

Now, how many of you students here would like to become great scientists and inventors to solve problems in your communities and Ghana for that matter?  I believe many of you want to.

It is said that,  “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity that helps the curious mind to explore impossibilities.”  You students here can all be creative to solve challenges through playing. It is this kind of opportunity that the Abor Community Development Association, Dr James Kwashi Agosor and myself, want to promote, by organizing this maiden edition of the STEM fair in this part of our region.

 

Let’s take a closer look at STEM and it’s benefits to us.

What Is STEM?

STEM education goes beyond school subjects. It gives a skill set that governs the way we think and behave. Merging science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM education helps us to solve the challenges that we face in our world today. Let’s see what STEM means in the global context and how it influences the development of our society.

 

Preparation of those Who Can Make a Difference – STEM Experts

STEM education gives people like you, the needed skills that make you more employable and ready to meet the current labour market. Science gives the learner an in-depth understanding of the world around us. It helps you to become better at research and critical thinking. Technology prepares you to work in an environment full of high-tech innovations. Engineering allows you to enhance problem-solving skills and apply knowledge in developing new projects. Mathematics enables people to analyze information, eliminate errors, and make conscious decisions when designing solutions. STEM education therefore, links these disciplines into a cohesive system. Thus, it prepares professionals who can transform society with innovation and sustainable solutions.

The STEM approach to education fosters creativity and divergent thinking alongside fundamental disciplines. It motivates and inspires young people to generate new technologies and ideas. With a focus on practice and innovation, you get to learn from inquiry-based assignments. Project-based learning and problem-solving help learners to form a special mindset. Its core is in flexibility and curiosity, which equips learners to respond to real-world challenges.

STEM-Enhanced Teamwork and Communication

STEM education prepares the world for the future. It is based on teamwork and collaboration of professionals from different disciplines. As a STEM student, you acquire a mindset that enables you to become a part of the highly qualified workforce. Teamwork brings a significant increase in productivity, work satisfaction, and profitability.

 

Maiden Abor STEM Fair – Modalities

Today’s Fair being organized by Opportunity Risk Management Institute (ORMI) in collaboration with Abor Senior High School (ABORSCO) and Abor Community Development Association (ACDA), is to engage all senior high schools and basic schools especially schools in the Volta Region, Abor enclave to display their science, technology and engineering skills.

 

With the aim of the planning committee to sustain the fair, this year’s event has been  themed ‘Discovering the Genius in future generations’

Almost all the basic schools and senior high schools in the Volta region were invited to participate, and today we have eight (8) schools participating in this fair, with 40 projects. The schools are as follows:

  • ABORSCO ,
  • St Paul’s Senior High, (SPACO),
  • Anlo Afiadenyigba SHS,
  • Dzodze Penyi Senior High (DZOSEC),
  • Abor EP School,
  • Abor RC,
  • Avenor SHS, and
  • Tsiame SHS

 

Prizes

There will be certificates for ALL participants to this event.

The 1st prize winner will receive a laptop,

The second prize winner takes away a Samsung Galaxy tablet, whilst

The third winner also receives  a Huawei tablet.

These prizes have been carefully selected to help students in their research for better, more problem-solving research in the future.

Call for support

All the prizes are meant to help the students do their research work. I therefore call upon all of you here, companies and individuals to support the programme to make the next edition bigger and better.

In rounding up, I would like to remind you once again of the importance of STEM and this fair that we are having today, with a few quotes.

  1. “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.” – Plato, Philosopher
  2. “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” – William Arthur Ward, Author
  3. “Science is magic that works.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Writer
  4. “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” – Shakuntala Devi, Writer & Mental Calculator
  5. You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” – Clay P. Bedford, President of Kaiser Aerospace & Electronics and More

On this note, I would say, let the game begin!

May the most inquisitive mind win.

THANK YOU!      AKPE NA MI!   

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