This year saw the launch of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers Campaign as part of GE’s global efforts to promote STEM among youth in Africa. GE partnered with Junior Achievement Africa (JA), the largest global non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering young people, to encourage students in Ghana through a campaign for 120 junior high school students from six schools in the Unity Cluster of schools at the St. Kizito Catholic Church in Nima, Ghana.
The GE/JA STEM Careers Campaign was a one-day event, sponsored by GE, which sought to raise students’ interest in STEM careers. The event gave students the opportunity to interact with GE professionals through a STEM challenge in a competitive environment while simultaneously fostering public speaking, team building and problem-solving skills with the participants. There was also a science and maths quiz competition, fashioned after the Ghana National Science and Maths Quiz, which is an annual science and mathematics national level quiz competition for senior high schools.
GE Ghana CEO Leslie Nelson said: “The purpose of the event was to provide an opportunity for senior executives of GE and staff of both organisations to interact with and contribute to the growth of young Ghanaians by sharing insights into the possibilities of their future professional lives.” He also noted that a similar campaign was held last year to stimulate interest in STEM careers among students from the same schools.
Speaking at the event, Programme Manager for JA Ghana, Abeiku Greene, said: “The challenge helped students to recognise the relationship between concepts in science and mathematics, and how they are applied in a workspace. One of the main highlights of the event was the science and maths quiz competition. It was a delight to see the students competing against each other and applying the concepts they have been taught in school.”
Nelson added: “Introducing STEM career counselling and job readiness training at an early stage in the development of students builds their understanding and skills in STEM, thereby creating an awareness of the many career options out there. This helps them make informed career choices and the hands-on experience also provides students with skills needed in STEM-related industries.”