2022 Chemistry Festival Held
As part of the 2022 Chemistry Festival celebration, the Department of Chemistry Education, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), and the American Chemical Society have educated pupils in the Effutu Municipality on the value of chemistry in their everyday lives.
The pupils, selected from five junior high schools (JHS) in the municipality, were taken through hands-on safety precautions and hazards activities; changes of state of matter; principles behind the periodic table; separation of mixtures; the nature of acids and bases; and chemical reactions. The beneficial schools were Atekyedo, Don Bosco, Municipal Assembly (MA), Nsuekyir, and Anglican JHS.
Selected pupils from Atekyedo, Don Bosco, Municipal Assembly (MA), Nsuekyir, and Anglican JHS at the Chemistry Festival celebration
Prof. Ruby Hanson, a professor at the Department of Chemistry Education and the architect of the festival, thanked the American Chemical Society for helping the department organise the festival each year for schools in the Effutu Municipality.
She said that since science is currently what drives every country, the festival was meant to introduce the concepts of chemistry in particular to the young people who would eventually succeed the elderly. She added that if kids are raised with the right concepts and a love for science, the ripple effect will be beneficial to the entire nation.
Pupils having some hands-on activities at the event
"This festival is being organised especially, for our kids so we can introduce them to the science they encounter every day while eating, cooking, bathing with soap, the use of charcoal in preservation and other activities. They won't be afraid of science or chemistry anymore once they realise that they have been immersed in it since birth, and then we can be confident that we can advance our country through chemistry," she asserted.
Prof. Ruby Hanson revealed that since the inception of the festival in 2020, it has impacted pupils greatly. The majority of those pupils who took part in the first two editions have already enrolled in science programmes in secondary schools. She expressed the hope that the students would continue their studies in science-related fields at the institution.
Dean, Science Education, Prof. Victor Antwi (third from right) with Prof. Ruby Hanson, Prof. Victus B. Samlafo (third from left), Mrs. Mabel Judith Micah and some lecturers from the Department of Chemistry
The Dean of Science Education, UEW, Prof. Victor Antwi, assured the students that they will gain new knowledge and abilities throughout the experimentation session. “As you learn chemistry going through this practice, there are certain things that you’ll learn. You will learn so many skills; skills of collaborating with others, skills of sharing ideas, and many more. It allows you to do what we call critical thinking which is very important in our study of chemistry. We want you to reason well, you’ll get the skills of solving problems such as manufacturing drugs for the sick.”
The Head, Department of Chemistry Education, Prof. Victus B. Samlafo, on his part, underscored the importance of the subject as a core area around which all the sciences revolve. "This is a fact and nobody can deny it. If I have my own way, I will ensure that chemistry is studied from kindergarten to senior high school as a core subject. This is so because chemistry underlies practically everything we do in our homes every day."
Some participants pose for a group picture
The Effutu Municipal Director of Education, Mrs. Mabel Judith Micah, outlined the three aspects of science as pertain in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations as practical, objective, and subjective. She explained that the practical aspect demands the application of theories learned in the classroom.
"Those of you present have the chance to appreciate the subject and how it relates to your lives. I hope everyone here will take advantage of this chance to pay attention to what is being done. Every aspect of us is chemistry and science, so if we learn abstractly, it doesn't benefit us and we can't apply what we have learned to our lives, which causes us to harm the environment without realising it, " she averred.
Teachers and their pupils in an excited mood after the celebration
Mrs. Judith Micah urged the pupils to go back to their schools and change things in the schools.
The festival was held under the theme “everyday chemistry: experiences around us”. It aimed to help the students in the Effutu Municipality to understand how chemistry related to everyday experiences and to ensure that pupils were motivated to learn chemistry.
The planning committee members from UEW were Prof. Ruby Hanson, Dr. Arkoful Sam, Dr. Mbage Bawa, Dr. Alhassan Mahama, Dr. Ernest Koranteng, Mrs. Claudia Quayson, Mr. Twumasi Ankrah Kwarteng, and Ms. Esther Nartey.