Kumasi Academy wins the maiden edition of the STEMNNOVATION contest

The Kumasi Academy Senior High School last Friday put up a spirited fight to score 24.6 points to beat Pope John Senior High and Seminary and the enterprising Worawora Senior High School to win the maiden edition of the STEMNNOVATION contest.
For emerging winner, Kumasi Academy SHS took home a trophy, a laptop, a printer and a Gh12,000 cash prize.
Pope John Senior High and Worawora Senior High scored 24.4 and 23.8 points to place 1st and 2nd runner-up respectively.
Pope John Senior High and Seminary was presented with a plaque, a laptop, a printer and Gh7000 cash for emerging 1st runner-up while Worawora SHS took home a plaque, a laptop, a printer and Gh5000 cash.
Awards were also presented to 16 others as regional champions, overall best recycling project, overall best coding and programming project and overall best solar project.
Other awards went to the most popular project, overall best TVET school, most artistic STEMNNOVATION awards and best STEMNNOVATION award among others.
Great outcome
The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, speaking during the prize presentation ceremony at the University Of Ghana was very excited that efforts being made by the government in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools across the country were yielding good results.
He was particularly happy that the competing schools came from across the entire country and that indicated that STEM education was catching up with all schools irrespective of location, grade and resource availability in a particular school.
The Education Minister eulogized the Free Senior School Secretariat (FSHS) for their innovation to introduce the competition which aims to test what students were studying in the areas of robotics, coding and other science-related practical lessons.
He stated that with the enthusiasm shown by the competing schools, an effort would be made to increase the number of institutions to take part in the competition next year through collaboration with other stakeholders.
Dr Adutwum said the study of STEM was not just an academic exercise but a means to help in the effort at transforming the nation’s economy.
He was upbeat that with the study of STEM, many more critical-thinking students would be trained to help find a solution to the many challenges confronting the nation and the rest of the world.
Assurance note
The Education Minister assured the nation that at least two of the projects submitted by the contestants would be implemented in collaboration with other investors to ensure that the nation derive the best from the projects.
He appealed to the FSHS secretariat to extend contest to the Junior High School level to help whip up the interest of the younger generation as well as test what they were also learning.
Dr Adutwum indicated that extending the contest to the JHS level would help create a pipeline of enthusiasm among the JHS students so they could add their knowledge and skills towards empowering the nation with requisite skills and knowledge.
The project that helped the Kumasi Academy SHS to win the contest was “Building a smart home using local materials and Arduino”, the Pope John SHS and Seminary had a project on “Corn cob water filtration system” while that of Worawora SHS focused on “lighting and charging system” using solar.
There was a two-day exhibition of the various projects by the contesting institutions.
All the participating schools who were from Senior High, Senior High/Technical Schools as well as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions apart from exhibiting their projects also made oral presentations justifying the processes, authenticity and economic importance of the projects towards resolving challenges in their communities and the nation as a whole.
A total of 200 schools submitted videos of their projects meant for the contest but only 97 of the schools qualified after going through vetting by the team of experts put together for that purpose.
The event which was launched on 5th September 2022 and started on October 2022 has been held virtually since its commencement but the grand finale brought the contestants face-to-face with the judges for the first time.
In charge of the contest were six local judges and six international judges who have been painstakingly analyzing the authenticity of the innovations of the contestants before scoring them.