Three lecturers in the Faculty of Science Education (FSE), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), have held a training workshop to apprise Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers in selected basic schools of the Effutu Municipality.
The training was part of a project being carried out by the three FSE members with support from the American Chemical Society (ACS) to organise a chemistry festival aimed at demystifying the teaching and learning of chemistry for basic and Junior High School (JHS) students.
A cross-section of the STEM teachers at the workshop
The one-day training, which took place at the Methodist Rafiki Satellite Village in Gyahadze, a suburb of Winneba, on Thursday, 17th November, 2022, saw participants taken through the essential elementary chemistry concepts in akpeteshie (local gin) distillation, gari production and palm oil production. Participants also had hands-on activities on acid-base testing, a paper test for oil, a test for starch, a test for protein as well as some safety precautionary measures.
A PowerPoint slide of the gari-making process
Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry Education, Dr. Boniface Yaayin, guided the JHS teachers in finding the chemistry concepts in the production of gari, palm oil and akpeteshie and at what point they took place.
Dr. Boniface Yaayin
A member of the team and lecturer at the Department of Integrated Science Education, Dr. (Mrs.) Esenam Anor, also led participants through some hands-on activities in the use of litmus papers to check for acids and bases in some foods.
Dr. (Mrs.) Esenam Anor
Another lecturer at the Department of Integrated Science Education, Mrs. Nelly Sakyi-Hagan, spoke to participants on some safety measures to prevent hazards and accidents during the festival.
Mrs. Nelly Sakyi-Hagan
The main chemistry festival comes off on Thursday, 24th November, 2022, at the same venue with 188 students from four selected schools namely Nsuekyir JHS, Gyahadze JHS, Gyangyanadze JHS and Methodist Rafiki JHS.
As part of the celebration, akpeteshie distillation, gari production and palm oil production will be replicated on the festival grounds for the students to observe. This will run concurrently with the explanation of chemistry concepts in the activities. The STEM teachers will facilitate the explanation of the chemistry concepts to the students; hence, the training to equip them to execute the task diligently.