Friday 5th February 2016 sees the launch of Ghana’s second Lab_13 in Kumasi, a space within a school dedicated to scientific education and practical-based learning, managed and run by students. The project is expanding after a successful pilot phase was run in 2015. Now that there are two Lab_13 spaces in Kumasi, the project plans to work with 44 local schools in 2016.
The launch of the second Lab_13 is being held at Solid Hope Basic School, Feyiase, Bosomtwe District and will take place between 9am and 2pm. This will include tours of the lab space, speeches from the Lab_13 Student Management Committee, cultural displays and scientific demonstrations presented by students at Solid Hope and other partner schools, including the first Lab_13 in Ghana, Agape Academy, Jachie. The Lab will provide hands-on learning opportunities to students from upper Primary,and J.H.S 1 and 2 from 44 schools in the Bosomtwe district of Kumasi. Students will ask a question, design an activity, and find answers through their own experimentation.
The management of the new space will be led by a Student Management Committee of nine students from the Lab_13 host school, Solid Hope Basic School. Samson Nii Odoi Quaye Tetteh, age 12, Student Management Committee member said
“I am excited this science lab has been built here in Solid Hope. It is going to help us learn more about science because I want to be a scientist.” Philip Twumasi Mensah, Solid Hope science teacher said “We are very happy the science lab is at Solid Hope. I thank God that our request to host the lab has been put into consideration. What I want to say is that with the help of Lab_13 I believe Solid Hope and other schools around us can use the local materials to build scientific knowledge.” The project, which is being run by UK science education charities Ignite!, who founded Lab_13 UK, and Lightyear Foundation, who run science projects in Africa. These organisations have been working closely with Mr Joseph Donkor, the Bosomtwe district Chairman for Ghana National Association for Private Schools.
Mr Donkor recognises the importance of practical science education and said “Ghana is developing, we need a lot of scientists, they will develop Ghana. If they have the knowhow and the understanding of science, they can solve their own problems. The trends we are moving to, if you are not educated you will be left behind, you will be left behind.” For this new year, the project has worked with the Madam Augustina Konadu Yiadom, Bosumtwe District Director of Education, to expand its reach to include 16 public schools, as well as the 24 private schools it currently works with. It is hoped that with continued funding, more Lab_13’s can be set up across the country and its practical-based ethos can become an integrated part of standard science
education in Ghana.