This week, Ghana's high school students inspired a nation. Through partnership with the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, over 40 high school science clubs from across Ghana were selected to compete in the Robotics Inspired Science Education "RISE" initiative in Ghana. This week we saw hundreds of students transformed by their new ability to make robots and program them to do "the wave," navigate through mazes, and track lines and walls using light and sound sensors.
By connecting science theory with hands-on learning, students and teachers explore best practices to strategize, design, build, program and test robots to solve defined real world problems. Students gain valuable team-building, presentation and communications skills, and have a whole lot of fun while pursuing serious science. This week's workshops introduced robotics kits, guidebooks and additional training suggestions in order to inspire Ghanaian youth to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and careers.
There is no doubt that nearly every sector from agriculture to mining and oil production could benefit from a well-trained work force with strengths in math, science and technology. Ghana's emerging economy will require nothing less. For these reasons, we were pleased to partner with the Embassy of Denmark, Lego Education, mobile communications provider Tigo, Google Ghana, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, JoyFM, and the Carnegie Mellon University School of Engineering to host workshops and regional competitions.
NASA Senior Robotics Engineer Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu redefined the notion of "giving back" to his country of birth by demonstrating through his own education and career growth that the sky is the limit for dedicated students. From sharing his personal contributions to the Mars Exploration Rover mission and accomplished academic career to rolling up his sleeves and teaching kids how to begin with robotics, Dr. Trebi-Ollennu has inspired all participants -- students and teachers alike.
Maintaining the momentum of the RISE launch will depend largely on individuals and the private sector who will strengthen the partnership by supporting future workshops and competitions in Ghana, and by volunteering, mentoring, and providing internships. By pooling our collective resources, we can make a major contribution to promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and careers in the sciences as a driver for economic growth and development in Ghana. We welcome you to join our team by contacting the Ghana Robotics Academy Foundation.