On this basis, she continued, “the programme is also meant to highly equip the science and mathematics teachers to ensure maximum output by the candidates.”
“As educators and innovators, we believe among many other things that practical science and mathematics should begin at the Basic School level and be nurtured to provide a solid foundation which can then be built upon at the Senior High School level, and finally be advanced at the tertiary level for national development.”
The Brain Battle National Science and Mathematics Quiz for Catholic Basic Schools is a three-round contest revolving around the content of Agricultural Science, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematic, with associated test on practical knowledge.
Part of its practical science components include a ‘Hot Lab’ Science practical question that requires contestants to use provided apparatus to investigate and explain a concept.
Mrs. Ashun said the practical activity helped the learners to develop problem solving skills and unique abilities to think ‘outside the box’.
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The other exercise is a compulsory Coordinate Geometry exercise, which is aimed to help learners to enhance their three-dimensional analytical abilities and their intellect.
Mrs. Ashun pointed out the importance of innovation saying, “In today’s globalized world, scientific innovation is vital for economic competitiveness, quality of life, and national security. Much of the future job growth in the world will be in STEM.”
This situation, she stressed, raises concerns about Africa’s preparedness for STEM jobs, given the small numbers of domestic students who enter these fields.
She cited former U.S. President Barrack Obama who, considering a STEM report that had predicted that by 2020, 80 percent of all future jobs would require a STEM education, urged institutions of learning “to prepare tomorrow’s leaders in this regard.”
Mrs. Ashun said that the Ministry of Education was working on providing STEM Centre’s at Senior High Schools and Basic Schools level across the country to enhance the teaching and learning of Science.
She said, “Beyond that, the Ministry is looking at the training of Science teachers to make sure that their training reflects the realities and dynamics of Science Education for the 21st Century.”
Contestant Moses Baidoo of the St. Francis of Assisi Basic School at Anaji Estate in the Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese in the Western Region was optimistic that this competition would help propel students to higher places especially during their secondary school.
“It is an eye opener for me to be a part of this historic event. Winning from the regional level to the national is an indication that we have a lot to learn by acquiring knowledge in science and mathematics,” he said.