The Yamoransa Model Labs Program Holds its First STEM and Robotics Competition In Ghana.

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June 5, 2022

The Yamoransa Model Labs Program in a 2-day conference on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, dubbed Annual Impact and RoundTable Discussion (AIRTAD ‘22) and Robotics Competition brought together Stakeholders in the STEM education industry to discuss the impact of their various organisations on STEM education in Ghana. 

Funded by the Helping Africa Foundation (HAF), the Yamoransa Model (YM) Labs Program hosted its first Annual Impact Roundtable Discussion (AIRTAD ’22) and Robotics Competition from February 23 – 24, 2022, at the Accra Digital Centre, in Accra, Ghana. The theme for this year’s AIRTAD and Robotics competition was “Complementing Government’s Effort To Promote STEM Education in Ghana – The Role of the Yamoransa Model Labs Program.”

Over the past five years, the Yamoransa Model Labs Program has benefited over 73,000 students in 125 schools in Ghana and The Gambia. At the Primary, Junior High, and Senior High School levels, the program sharpens their critical thinking skills and provides practical knowledge of Information Technology and Robotics. Students also use the facilities to learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as English and Social Studies, which equips them to be life-long learners as well as pass their exams with flying colors.

The conference also marked 5 years of Helping Africa Foundation’s investment into ICT in Ghana. Under their flagship program the “Yamoransa Model Labs” initiative the Foundation has invested in building model ICT centres in low resource settings across the country over the past 5 years. 

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on the impact of the Yamoransa Model Labs, the President of the Helping Africa Foundation, Dr. Deborah Rose mentioned that the Yamoransa Model Labs Program started sometime in 2016 after a visit by a Yale Alumni Service Corps to Yamoransa in the Central Region of Ghana to help the community build an ICT facility. She added that the Yamoransa Model since its inception in 2016, has evolved from the building of standard ICT labs to the building of more advanced centres conducive for robotics training, coding among others, successfully building 11 labs across some 10 regions in Ghana and a lab in the Gambia.

The Executive Director. of the Foundation Mr. Japhet Aryiku called on the government to commit to replicating the Yamoransa Model Labs initiative across the country adding that such intervention will greatly boost the promotion of STEM education in Ghana. 

“We believe that STEM education is the way to go in increasing productivity, opening up our economy and facilitating the next phase of our development and it is important that the government commit resources to this. The Yamoransa Model Labs initiative has set the pace for this and we believe it can be replicated across the country, especially in rural areas” Mr. Ayiku said. 

The Project Director of IMPLEMENTERS and the Yamoransa Model Labs,  Mr. Kafui Prebbie, mentioned that the Yamoransa Model Labs program has evolved greatly over the years; thanks to the involvement of two Ghanaian based companies, TECHAiDE, the technology partners of the Yamoransa Model and IMPLEMENTERS the projects managers of the Yamoransa Model who have consistently worked together for about 6 years.

“I am excited that this project is manned by two Ghanaian companies who have no doubt showed a great level of commitment by traveling across the country and outside to get the Yamoransa Model Labs successfully built and installed with gadgets for use. He highlighted that the project in the last quarter has impacted the lives of over 73,000 students, from 125 communities from some 10 regions of Ghana with about 75 teachers getting trained in the area of STEM and Robotics.

Students from some 9 labs of the Yamoransa Model Labs in Ghana and 1 Yamoransa Model Lab in the Gambia also competed in a Quiz and Robotics competition which was won by YM Lab 5 located in Kyebi in the Eastern Region.

Speaking at the Robotics competition, Prof. Elsie Effah Kauffman, Founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana and Quiz Mistress of the National Science and Maths Quiz, applauded the organisers of the competition for organising practical STEM competition at the junior level of education adding that these practical skills are what will lead to innovation.

Hon Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the MP for Techiman North Constituency and promoter of STEM education in Ghana, expressed her gratitude to the Helping Africa Foundation for providing her community with a YM Lab in 2021. She indicated that, since the commissioning of the labs in November 2021, students’ attendance in the catchment area has increased greatly due to the development of new interest in robotics by the students. She further used the opportunity to call on the government to support such worthy initiatives by NGOs.

Other stakeholders at the conference were the Director of RiSE & Founding Member, Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation, Dr. Yaw Okraku-Yirenkyi; Ms. Larisa Akrofie, Founder of Levers in Heels; Mr. Joshua Opoku Agyemang, President, IoT Network Hub Africa; Mr. Yahaya Zakari Osman, Director of Operation (GIFEC) and among others.

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