, 18 March, 2020 / 4:38 AM
The maiden edition of the Brain Battle Mathematics and Science Quiz for Catholic Basic and Junior High Schools (JHS) in Ghana, organized by the Catholic Education Directorate and Cocktail Media, an NGO under the auspices of the Archbishop of Accra, ended Sunday, March 15, with schools that showcased the most striking scientific innovations walking away with coveted prizes.
Among these, are St. Anthony of Padua in Ghana’s Western region where students have developed a system to generate electricity from human urine and St. Mary’s Junior High School in the Brong Agafo region with a technology to count money using cardboards in the place of expensive counting machines that are on the market in Ghana.
Ancilla School in Upper West of Ghana also participated in the competition, showcasing the use of waste to generate power for households.
“In Ghana, there is a lot of waste that is usually looked at in a bad way. Our innovation seeks to prove that waste can be useful,” said a pupil from Ancilla School.
Explaining the innovation, the pupil added, “Biogas is one of the friendliest sources of energy which can easily be adopted by Ghanaians especially now that we are facing a lot of power outages.”
Those who developed technology from cardboards to assist in counting coins explained, “Money-counting machines are very expensive in Ghana and are hardly accessible by the women engaged in small scale businesses in town. With the risks involved in physically handling money, a simple counting machine can come in handy for these women.”
Good Shepherd JHS from the Ashanti Region emerged the overall winners with 47.5 points, walking away with cash prize of GHc10,000 (USD1,790.00), a certificates and other consolation prizes from the three-round contest that revolved around the content of Agricultural Science, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematic, with associated test on practical knowledge.
St. Mary's School took the second position with 45.5 points, followed by Mount Mary with 27.5 points. The two schools walked away with GHc5,000 (USD895.00) and GHc2,000 (USD358.00) respectively. Other schools that made it to the grand finale were also awarded under different categories.
Noting the novelty in the innovations, Ing. Dr. Ken Ashigbey the Chief Executive Officer of (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication, who was the guest of honour at the grand finale lauded the young innovators, noting that the world was in need of their talents.
“The world has become a global village, which requires skills and innovations. I am happy that young people through Catholic education and the brain battle quiz have explored by bringing their creativity, innovations and initiatives of science, Maths and technology to bare,” said Dr. Ashigbey.
Addressing the 150 pupils gathered at the Christ the King Parish Hall for the ceremony, Dr. Ashigbey lauded the confidence of the contestants and asked them “to take their education seriously especially by enhancing their skills in science, mathematics and technology.”
He appealed to Ghanaian businesses and individuals to use their resources to support the young ones build on the knowledge they had acquired through their experience during the quiz.
With the slogan “It's Mental, not Muscles”, the quiz contest was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of Basic School pupils in Ghana in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics and (STEM).
Last month, 21 Catholic Basic Schools in Ghana converged in the country’s capital city, Accra, to battle in a National Science and Mathematics quiz that was aimed at boosting their performance in STEM fields.
Part of the three-day event’s practical science components included a ‘Hot Lab’ Science practical question that required contestants to use provided apparatus to investigate and explain a concept.
Addressing the audience at the Grand Finale on March 15, Archbishop John Bonaventure Kwofie of Accra said the Brain battle quiz was an opportunity to prepare the young ones for the future especially for the National Science and Maths Quiz for Senior High Schools and prayed that this year, a Catholic SHS will again win the national trophy.
At a Press briefing in Accra on February 6, 2020 to kick-start the competition, Archbishop Kwofie emphasized that “the Quiz is not for only Catholics but Catholic Schools which have non-Catholics who outnumber Catholics.”
He said the quiz by the young ones at the basic level was to prepare them to build for the future challenges in education.
The Accra Archbishop added, “It will also prepare them for the National Science and Maths Quiz which catholic schools have performed excellently over the years with a catholic school being the reigning champion.”
The quiz, the Ghanaian Spiritan Prelate noted, was in line with the Church’s contribution to education, which he said was evident by the number of educational institutions the church had established in the country.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa