Witnessing the fierceness, passion, and collaborative efforts of the various GSTEP finalist teams from the Ashanti region, during the judging event of the GSTEP Challenge was a scene to behold. The 25 selected finalists showcased their prototypes to our esteemed panel of judges over the course of two days – 30th November to 1st December 2022 at the Kumasi Anglican Senior High School (KASS). To show their support to the finalist teams, the GSTEP consortium, GSTEP mentors and coordinators, GES officials, and some media persons were present at the event.
For day one of the event, fourteen (14) teams were called upon to pitch their ideas and present their prototypes to the panel of judges. Each team has 15 minutes for their presentation – 10 mins for pitching and 5 mins for questions and answers. The fourteen teams who presented their works on the first day were Binsere STEMTech, Oparebea, Quickbyte, The Magnificent, Technocrats, Achievers, Brain of Tech Moderners, Indetech, Japerd Technologies, The Chancellors, Pokukrom Methodist Science Club, Asuofua Plan D Wear, Asuofua Sea Batt, Asuofua D/A Basic.
On the second day of the event, the remaining eleven (11) teams had the opportunity to stand before the panel of judges to show their works. The teams were Smart Thinkers, Great Minds, Mega Minds, The Genius Six, Explorers, A Step to Change, Galaxy, Scientists, Victory, God’s Eye, and Jefakk.
The judges were thrilled with the presentations and the prototypes that were presented as they expressed their sentiments about them. They showcased their expert knowledge in the various fields in which the teams worked. They complimented the teachers for their hard work and encouraged the students to work harder and not end here, even if they are not declared winners at the end of the competition. Some of the judges pledged to help some of the teams polish their prototypes for the Exhibition and Awards Ceremony in January 2023.
The esteemed judges for the event were Ms. Angela Ankomah Duho – Program Manager at MEST Africa, Ms. Eugenia Tachie-Menson – Country Director, Young Educators Foundation, Mr. Leslie Awere-Kyere – CEO, Awere-Kyere & Associates, Mr. Makafui Awuku – Founder & CEO, Mckingtorch Africa, and Mr. Johannes Thomas Arthur – CEO, The Waste Factor & RCUBE.
All teams were given a period of seven (7) weeks to develop their prototypes. During that period, they went through mentorship sessions, masterclasses, and coaching sessions with mentors and experts who were assigned to them. These coaches taught them presentation skills, how to pitch, and also business plan development which was essential for the judging event. They also took them through other important skill-set training which would help them in the future, should they want to take the development of their ideas a step further.
GSTEP is a three-year program targeting 20,000 Junior High School (JHS) students to support the development of entrepreneurial products and skills to solve community challenges. The GSTEP program consists of a series of challenge prize competitions, where students are encouraged to develop new business ideas in teams, with support from schools and teachers.
During the Challenge, participating teams are provided with training, coaching, mentorship, and relevant resources to support them complete projects using STEM. The program aims to strengthen the interest in STEM fields, as well as support the development of key entrepreneurial and enterprising skills such as critical thinking and presentation skills.