Airtel Ghana, the Smartphone Network held its first session of the “Evolve with STEM” initiative with pupils of La Wireless cluster of schools coding club in the Dade Kotokpon Municipality of the Greater Accra region on Friday, 20th January 2017.
Evolve with STEM is Airtel Ghana’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, which seeks to demystify the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in basic schools and inspire the pupils to cultivate an insatiable interest in such subjects.
The first phase, which was launched in December 2015 comprised of regular monthly mentoring sessions for schools in the Greater Accra, Brong-Ahafo and Central regions.
The second phase, which was launched in June 2016, involved setting up STEM clubs to enable teachers to teach and students to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects in a practical, fun and informal way outside of the classroom. We had the pleasure of attending the launch last year.
The first “Evolve with STEM” session with pupils of La Wireless primary school was aimed at demonstrating how technology makes communication easier.
During an interactive session with pupils of La Wireless cluster of schools coding club, the Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist, spoke on the importance of technology.
“Technology is very important. Each time you make a major technological breakthrough, the world goes through a major shift. It is a reflection of our own capacity as human beings because technology doesn’t create itself. What technology does is that it takes the things that we’re capable of or desire and makes it more efficient and accessible for many people. It also makes things that are challenging become easier,” she stated.
In demonstrating how technology makes things easier, the 2016 Telecom CEO of the year gave a presentation on how communication via the telephone has become easier and efficient through the invention of mobile phones.
She went further to demonstrate how mobile phone antennas emit radio waves over cell phone masts to cell sites, which make communication between people easier irrespective of their location.
The pupils of La Wireless coding club had a Question and Answer session with their counterparts at Mataheko RC Basic School via Skype. During the session, both pupils shared knowledge between each other about what transpires in their various STEM clubs and Coding clubs. This was one of our favorite moments during the session because the excitement could be seen on the children’s faces and heard in their voice. We, along with the children, learned about the origin of Skype and it’s founders, thanks to Lucy.
The session, which initially began on a familiarization note, ended up culminating into a quiz like session akin to GTV’s “What Do You Know” competition. Knowledge in Science and coding, self-confidence and the art of asking poignant questions and giving detailed answers were all put to test during the Q/A session via Skype. The children indeed made everyone proud with their intellectual responses.
In the end, both pupils walked out shoulder high with the belief that, they’ve proven to each other how well versed they are in their various specialties.
La Wireless is one of Airtel Ghana’s adopted schools under its School Adoption Program, which forms part of their Corporate Social Initiatives. The aim of this initiative is to adopt schools in deprived areas and equip them with the necessary structures and incentives to make teaching and learning conducive in these schools and also put them at par with other developed schools in the country. In accordance with this initiative, Airtel Ghana provided La Wireless Basic School with an ultra-modern ICT lab in 2016, which they were bereft of in previous years.
The Managing Director, Lucy Quist, expressed her satisfaction with the rate at which the students are grasping the concept of STEM. Click here to watch a video of the students engage in their first Skype chat.
threesixtyGh Reporter- Desmond Tawiah, GIJ Student