Students doing simple science experiment
The Accra College of Education through its Teaching and Learning Resource Centre, collaborated with Transforming Teaching, Education and Learning (T-TEL) to commemorate International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS) 2022. The day aimed to recognise the role of women and girls in science and the need to support, encourage and empower more women and girls to pursue science as a career.
To mark this day, the College and T-TEL visited the Accra Wesley Girls High School in Kaneshie, Accra, on February 11 2022, to conduct easy science experiments. The experiments were a donation from the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) in the UK given to the college to support its outreach efforts to local schools in the Greater Accra region.
In her opening remark, the headmistress of the school Ms Leticia Bray expressed her delight at the opportunity presented to the school to engage in science activities to mark IDWGS. According to her, opportunities like this will enhance female participation and encourage them to pursue more STEM careers for “we cannot do without science” in our daily living. She also added that the visit by T-TEL and the College was appropriate as it ties with the plans of the Ministry of Education for schools to commemorate IDWGS.
Headmistress of the school speaking to the students before the experiments
Following her remark, Ms Perpetual Sroda Wadjoly, a newly trained teacher from St. Teresa’s College of Education, facilitated the process by supporting the students through a step-by-step guide on Building-a-Torch and creating Paper Helicopters. With support from teachers from the science department, each student built a torch. Tools needed to produce the torchlight were a foam core, two batteries, LED light, and two polystyrene layers. The 5-step experiment procedure resulted in each student building their own torchlight.
Students showing their lit torchlights
The second experiment was to create paper helicopters — this activity was to help the students appreciate the effects of thrust, lift, weight and gravity on propelling and flying objects. Again, after being taken through a step-by-step procedure, students produced their own paper helicopters from folded pieces of cut papers attached to paper clips. They folded the papers in ways to enhance propulsion and flight based on the principles of thrust, lift, weight and gravity.
Ms. Perpetual and a student demonstrating the paper helicopter experiment
The most exciting moment of this activity was when the students went to another floor on top of their science laboratory to drop their produced helicopters in the courtyard of their school’s storey building. All the students cheered as their paper helicopters flew in all directions when they dropped them downstairs.
Commenting on the day, Ms. Hanan Ali Dramane, a Form 3 Science student, had this to say; “We are grateful [to T-TEL and the College] for teaching us how to create a simple torchlight and a paper helicopter with its principles. I want to urge all girls to get rid of the perception that science is a difficult course to offer because we experience it in our everyday activities, and every girl has the ability to be in any field of science that she has passion for.”
Ms. Hanan sharing her experience
Rashid Farida and Anane Helina also Form 3 science students gave a joint statement saying, “We are glad to be celebrating women and girls in science today. At first, almost all the ladies were afraid of offering science courses at the senior high school… through the experience we had today building our torch and paper helicopters, we feel empowered to pursue science. We are glad to witness this [activity] and wish to see more.”
Rashid Farida and Anane Helina
In his closing remark, Mr Sey, Assistant Headmaster, expressed appreciation for how the students actively engaged themselves in the two science experiments to celebrate the day of women and girls in science. He also encouraged the students to pursue their dream careers in science.