The Junior Experimenters of Science (JUNEOS) and Senior Experimenters of Science (SENEOS) are initiatives WeGo Innovate established to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in Ghana, and to encourage greater classroom interaction. These initiatives respond to a core desire to motivate teachers to get the best out of their students by using practical visual and multimedia content designed to make learning science relevant and fun.
WeGo Innovate wants to start a dialogue about science that encourages critical thinking and innovation in classrooms and inspires discussion across Ghana and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The JUNEOS Challenge launches in August 2018 and targets Junior High School (JHS) students aged between 11 and 15. The SENEOS Challenge will launch in 2019 and will focus on Senior High School (SHS) students aged between 15 and 18.
These Challenges are designed to get students and teachers thinking about how they can apply scientific theories in everyday settings, and how they can share this knowledge with peers using video demonstrations.
Our work responds to the Ghanaian government’s commitment to achieve targets geared towards improving the quality of education in the country. This has already been outlined as a target in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals with the Ghanaian government committing to getting a minimum of 60% of students into STEM-related fields of education.
We believe that interactive teaching and the use of visual aids can improve information retention and boost engagement for students. This is why we are collaborating with the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST), Ghana STEM Network, GhScientific, The Exploratory and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are already working heavily in the STEM education arena.
WeGo Innovate wants to build an extensive catalogue of science experiments based on based on Ghana’s national curriculum that can be used to equip teachers with design and critical thinking skills as well as build capacity in classrooms. Our teachers do an impressive job training the next generation of STEM scholars and leaders with the limited resources they have at their disposal. WeGo Innovate wants to provide teachers with additional training and resources to maximize learning potential and improve the classroom experience for everyone.
Our aim is to create opportunities for educators to get the recognition they deserve and the hands-on, practical teaching skills that will equip students to master the theory and the application of STEM concepts. Our hope is that with the participation of teachers, NGOs, partners and government, the JUNEOS and SENEOS Challenges will become an Africa-wide competition, starting with Nigeria in 2019. The aim is to give countries a chance to compete against each other to find the most creative, innovative and most intriguing student experiments.
Share Your Experiment
- Schools in Ghana must submit their science experiments by October 7, 2018 and make sure they are linked to the national curriculum.
- Submissions need to either be in photographic form or sent as a one-minute video.
- Each experiment submitted must outline each stage of the process and include a write-up of how the scientific demonstration relates to everyday life.
- After the October 7, 2018 submission date ends, entries will be whittled down to the best experiments by a panel of five judges hand-picked by the Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST), and Ghana STEM Network.
- The panel’s first round decision is based on specific technical criteria linked to the type of experiment chosen and its application to real life.
- Once the best experiments have been selected, WeGo Innovate will visit the shortlisted schools across Ghana, gathering footage on each experiment, the team of schoolchildren conducting them and their teachers.
- The footage will be aired on the WeGo Innovate website and on Ghana’s TV stations, including Joy Prime, at the end of October.
- Once the student experiments air, a second round of judging will begin. This round includes input from the public as well as the judging panel of STEM experts to select an overall winning school, an overall winning teacher, and two runners-up.
- WeGo Innovate will set the criteria for the public vote: vote for the coolest, most intriguing experiment that clearly showcases how this experiment has real-life application.
- Winners receive great cash rewards and science equipment designed to support innovation in the classroom.
How Can People Get Involved?
The JUNEOS Challenge aims to reinvigorate the conversation on STEM education by creating a buzz around science, experimenting and innovation on TV, online and across social media. Follow our the JUNEOS Challenge @WeGoInnovate on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and let’s get the #Gh4STEM hashtag trending!!!
WeGo Innovate works with several partners
- Ghana Association of Science Teachers (GAST) – the largest professional science and technology association in Ghana comprising teachers and laboratory technicians. Members teach the sciences and manage laboratories, develop instructional and curriculum materials and equipment. http://www.gastonline.net/
- The Ghana STEM Network – a non-profit organisation with a vision to raise a generation of Ghanaians who understand STEM and its role in national development and are equipped with skills in STEM to solve societal problems.
- GhScientific – a STEM-based registered UK charity and non-governmental organisation in Ghana with the primary aim of building capacity in STEM through public engagement and outreach activities. https://ghscientific.com/
- The Exploratory – an organisation devoted to making STEM enjoyable and practical for students. http://www.the-exploratory.org/
- Joy Prime – airs 24 hours of non-stop programming for the whole family, including award winning series and original productions, movies and documentaries. It is part of MultiTV – Ghana’s first direct to home satellite TV station. http://multitvworld.com/joy-prime-2/
- News Generation – is an issue-driven media relations services company specializing in using broadcast media techniques to earn media placements for associations, non-profits, government agencies, and clients of public relations firms. https://www.newsgeneration.com/