ADVANCING STEAM EDUCATION: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE THIRD EDITION OF AIRTAD AND THE YAMORANSA MODEL LABS PROGRAM EXHIBITION

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March 27, 2024

The Annual Impact Roundtable (AIRTAD ’24) and Robotics Competition, held from February 26-28, 2024, at the UPSA main Auditorium in Accra, showcased the impactful initiatives of the Yamoransa Model Labs (YM Labs), funded by the Helping Africa Foundation (HAF). Organized by Implementers under the theme “The Yamoransa Model Labs Programme: Investing in the Future,” the event attracted participants from various educational institutions, including renowned schools like the Presbyterian Boys School, Achimota High School, Aburi Girls High School, and Labone Senior High School.

The event kicked off with an engaging quiz competition involving Junior and Senior High Schools from different labs, setting the stage for three days of insightful discussions and innovative displays. Day two featured roundtable discussions and a robotics exhibition, where 14 STEAM labs presented projects that aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These projects, ranging from solar electrification to smoke detection devices, demonstrated the students’ ingenuity and their commitment to addressing societal challenges.

Throughout the event, prominent figures like Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director of CENDLOS, and Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, President of the Association of Ghana Industries, emphasized the importance of fostering collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity in Ghana’s educational system. Dr Ayim-Darke, promoter for Yamoransa Lab 6, highlighted the potential for collaboration with the business community, emphasizing the alignment of their profit-driven nature with the goals of YM Labs.

The discussions at AIRTAD ’24 underscored the need for partnerships to amplify the impact of STEAM education. Dr William Owusu Oduro from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) emphasized the importance of synergies between innovators and private sector entities to bring innovations to the market. Mr Emmanuel Baidoo of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi praised the practical application of ideas showcased at the event, noting the impressive contributions from individuals within local communities.

The Robotics competition was a highlight of the event, showcasing the students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. YM Lab 7 from the Oti Region of Ghana emerged as the winner in the Junior High School category. YM Lab Gambia claimed victory in the Senior High School category, overcoming fierce competition from some Ghanaian schools including Presec-Legon, Aburi Girls and Labone Senior High in the finals. The winners received Educational Funds, cash prizes, laptops, and tablets as rewards, to nurture their talent and innovation.

The event also saw the participation of various stakeholders, including representatives from the Ghana Education Service (GES) and notable figures like Mr. Bright Yaw Atiase from the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and Ms. Dania Toyin from the Ghana Science & Tech Explorer Challenge Prize.

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