On Saturday, July 31, Primetime Limited successfully concluded the maiden edition of the Sci-Tech Innovation Challenge, a new programme designed to showcase and challenge Senior High School students to apply the practical aspects of their STEM education.
The competition featured ten schools from across the country, on the theme ‘Fighting COVID-19 with Innovative Tech Solutions’.
After two days of competition, where the schools had to build their projects from scratch, Obuasi SHTS impressed the panel of judges with their Automated Sanitizing Station to be declared winners.
Their winning innovation was a complex system that utilized an ultrasonic sensor, an immersion water pump, an electromagnetic switch and an Arduino to ensure minimal physical contact during sanitizing.
The winners, Obuasi SHTS, accrued 307 points and walked away with a whooping GH₵20,000 for the team (students and teacher), as well as GH₵10,000 worth of science equipment to the school.
For placing second with 293 points, Aggrey Memorial SHS earned GH₵17,000 for the team, and GHC8,000 worth of science equipment to the school.
Aggrey Memorial SHS’s innovation was a Health Assistant Robot designed to help deliver drugs and food to Covid-19 patients.
Prempeh College, who were the second runners-up with 290 points, were also awarded GH₵15,000 for the team and GH₵5,000 worth of science equipment to the school. COVSAM: Covid-19 Safety Protocols Station, was the innovation that earned them their slot.
With a berth of innovative ideas, the remaining seven schools each received a consolation prize of GH₵5,000 each with GH₵4,000 going to the team and the school receiving GHC1,000 worth of science equipment.
Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS) placed 4th with 289 points for their Smart Sanitizing Station, using ultrasonic sensors and robotics to automate handwashing and sanitizing.
In 5th place, Sunyani-based Don Bosco Technical Institute accrued 267 points for their Hand Washing Machine that utilized audio prompts to ensure that COVID protocols were properly ensured.
The only all-girls school to participate, Archbishop Porter Girls’ SHS, placed 6th with 262 points for “Archumidifier”, a steam humidifier designed to introduce moisture into the atmosphere which prevents the thickening of mucus and helps the cilia to trap the COVID-19 virus.
The team from Wa-based Louis Rutten SHS designed the COVID Protocols Assistant (CPA), another automated comprehensive sanitizing station, to earn 255 points and place 7th.
Mfantsipim School placed 8th with 251 points for their e-learning platform named COVINFO.
Coming in 9th, Sekyedumase SHS managed to accrue 240 points for their Temperature Sensor / Automated Door.
In 10th place, with 231 points, St. Thomas Aquinas SHS designed ‘Cashbot’, an automated money exchange system to reduce physical contact during transactions.
Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Mrs. Nana Akua Ankomah-Asare, the Managing Director of Primetime Limited, thanked the sponsors, schools and teachers for helping to make the programme such a success. In her speech, she stated that the organisers hoped that “more institutions will come on board to support the Sci-Tech Fair in the coming years”.
The Sci-Tech Innovation Challenge was introduced after three editions of the Sci-Tech Fair had been held annually as mainly an exhibition platform for scientific and technological innovations from across the country.
The Challenge was designed to introduce a competitive element and increase the practical impact of the Sci-Tech Fair.
This year, the Sci-Tech Fair was decoupled from the National Science & Maths Quiz and merged with the Mentorship Sessions to birth the maiden edition of the STEM Festival, a month-long celebration of innovation and science.