Bimbilla, Northern Region – Our Lady of Peace Junior High School in Bimbilla, located in the Northern Region, has emerged victorious in this year's Brian Battle Quiz (BBQ) National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) championship.
The school secured the championship with an impressive 39 points during the three-round contest finals.
Their closest competitors were Mary Mother of Good Counsel School, the first runner-up, who scored 37 points, and Ancilla Junior High School, the second runner-up, with 33 points.
As part of their well-deserved victory, Our Lady of Peace received a trophy and GH¢ 40,000 worth of furniture courtesy of HADSBAK furniture.
The first runner-up, Mary Mother of Good Counsel School, was awarded GH¢ 10,000 worth of equipment, while the second runner-up, Ancilla Junior High School, received GH¢ 5,000 worth of equipment.
These prizes will be supplied to the respective schools by event organizers with support from sponsors.
The BBQ National STEM championship is a practical STEM-based competition organized by Cocktail Media in partnership with the Education Directorate of the National Catholic Secretariat. It brings together Catholic basic schools from across the country, with participants aged between 10 and 16 years.
Two schools, Akatsi R/C Junior High School and St. Theresa Junior High School, were also recognized for their outstanding STEM projects during the competition.
Akatsi R/C School devised a fuel-generating system from plastic waste, while St. Theresa created a smart dustbin that automatically opens when approached for waste disposal.
Madam Araba Ahima Bentum, General Manager of Catholic Schools Ghana, emphasized the importance of inspiring early interest in STEM education.
She noted that promoting STEM education would lead to a greater number of STEM graduates, providing a skilled workforce for the country's growing STEM-related job opportunities, thereby contributing to economic growth.
Madam Bentum stressed the need for quality science education at the basic level and the cultivation of teachers capable of sparking creativity and practical learning in children.
She underscored the significance of STEM careers in addressing Ghana's current challenges, including poor infrastructure, housing deficiencies, and healthcare system issues, making it imperative to “catch them young.”
Mr. Alhassan Dauda, a Mathematics teacher at Our Lady of Peace School and the coach of the winning pupils, expressed his confidence that their victory would inspire the team to retain the title in the following year.
One of the triumphant pupils from Our Lady of Peace School, Mohammed Fadel Abdul-Nasir, shared his newfound motivation to pursue a STEM career, aspiring to become a Mechanical Engineer in the future.
He credited the contest with enhancing his analytical and oratory skills, making him a more confident and capable student throughout the competition.
Reporting by Jesse Ampah Owusu. Editing by Mariam Aminu.