After seven (7) weeks of intensive research work, brainstorming, analyzing, and finalizing the building of prototypes, the finalist teams in the Greater Accra region of Ghana presented their works to a 5 member panel of judges. The two-day event was held on the 24th and 25th of November 2022, at the Latter Day Saints Church Auditorium, Oyarifa. In attendance were members of the GSTEP consortium, GES officials, GSTEP mentors, and the media corps.
On the first day of the event, 14 finalist teams out of the 25 selected teams pitched their presentations to the panel of judges. The 5 member panel had seasoned experts in the world of STEM who could better appreciate the technicalities and innovative minds of the students. As part of their judging criteria, they looked out for creativity, innovation, presentation skills, and technical know-how. 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.
The finalist teams who presented on the first day of the event were Super Galactic Squad, Brainiacs, Minieinsteins, PS2A, Big Sharks, Intellectual Power, GaSMaTT, Investigators, Alpha S, Amigos, Solution Squad, Healthy Ghana, Future Stars, Nunya, and Shining Stars.
For day two, the teams that pitched to the judges were Beyond Creation, Genius Juniors, Primus Inter Pares, Democratic Team, EMJEEM, LPG Detector, Marvellous Squad, The Achievers, and Technology Prodigy.
All the teams developed prototypes of the ideas they presented when they registered for the Challenge. During the period of preparation, the teams were given all the resources they needed to work with, in order to make their work more efficient. Each team was provided with a coach to provide technical guidance in the development of their prototypes. Teams were also assigned mentors who took them through mentorship sessions covering pitching, presentation skills, business plan development, and other relevant skills to prepare the team for the next phase of the Challenge and beyond.
The judges were impressed with the ideas the teams came up with. They mentioned that being able to see the creativity and innovative sides of the children means that Ghana has a bright future ahead. They stressed the need for practical learning as compared to only theory lessons. Some of the judges offered to fine-tune some of the projects for the Exhibition and Awards ceremony, which would be held on the 25th of January 2023.
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.