The National Science and Mathematics Quiz 2017: The Best So Far

The National Science and Mathematics Quiz (NSMQ) started in 1993 and several schools have emerged winners of this great competition. Pojoss, Adisadel College, Presec, St. Thomas Aquinas SHS, Prempeh College, St. Augustine’s College, GSTS, Mfantsipim School, Achimota School and Opoku Ware School have all won the competition before, with Presec winning the coveted prize five times, followed closely by Prempeh College with four wins. Achimota School is the only mixed school to have won the competition. Strangely enough, no girl school have won the competition before. The euphoria that heralded the beginning of this noble competition died down after some years.

This year’s edition was the 22nd since Primetime started the production in 1993. The competition started with 135 schools, out of this number, 108 qualified through the Regional Competitions held across the country in January-February 2017. The other 27 were seeded schools that made it to the quarter final stage of the 2016 edition of the competition. The National Science and Mathematics Quiz is also the longest running independent production on television in Ghana. The objectives of the competition has been to promote the study of the sciences and mathematics, help students develop quick thinking and a probing and scientific mindset about the things around them, whiles encouraging and fostering a healthy academic rivalry among the senior high schools. Thus it has become very common to see most of the senior high schools trying to assert their bragging rights during the competition, especially the schools that have won the competition before.

The first NSMQ quiz mistress was the late Professor Marian Ewurama Addy, professor of Biochemistry at the University of Ghana. She was quiz-mistress from 1993-2000. Dr. Eureka Emefa Adomako, a botanist at the University of Ghana also took over as quiz-mistress from 2001-2005. The current quiz-mistress is Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, (2006-) head of the Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Ghana, Legon. The 2017 edition of the NSMQ has so far been the best in terms of popularity and euphoria. This was because, most of the schools had their students and old students supporting their contestants and the venue for the competition was always packed with spillovers outside the main auditorium. This was characterized by several high profile personalities who came to support their former schools. They also came there to provide both moral support and material support. Some donated money and other items just to motivate the contestants to do their best. As it happened during last year’s edition, the Ghana Think Foundation through it’s Junior Camp Ghana team partnered the organizers of the NSMQ by introducing a mentoring session during each of the preliminary rounds of the competition. This helped the students a lot as they got the opportunity to meet and learn about the experiences of the mentors. These mentors were drawn from several  Science and Technology fields such as Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, Computer Science, Nursing, Science Education etc etc. The mentoring sessions offered the students the opportunity to ask  pertinent questions about their various chosen career options in the sciences, academia and beyond. Thus, the partnership between Primetime and the GhanaThink Foundation will surely be a long term one and this will impact the lives of many students at the Senior High School level.

This year’s Grand Finale was between three schools, Adisadel College, Prempeh College and St. Thomas Aquinas SHS. At the end of the contest, Prempeh College emerged the winner followed closely by St. Thomas Aquinas SHS and Adisadel College (NSMQ2016 Champions) with the second and third positions respectively. Social media also made this year’s contest very interesting as there were live tweets on Twitter and livestreaming on facebook. The GhanaThink Foundation and the members of the Junior Camp Ghana team are grateful to all the followers who tweeted and retweeted with the hash tag #NSMQ2017 from both the @NSMQ, @JuniorCampGhana twitter accounts and followed their respective Facebook pages. We say “ayeekoo” to Prempeh College for winning the NSMQ2017. To all the schools that could not make it to the grand finale, we wish them better luck next time. The NSMQ has surely come to stay and lets all come on board and join hands and give it the massive support and coverage it deserves.

Water Is Life 2

Image Imagine  the earth without water, all living things would just die and that would be the end of humankind. But are we doing our very best to protect our water sources? We keep on repeating the mantra “water is life” and we look on unconcerned whiles our sources of drinking water are polluted by illegal miners, people in our communities through the dumping of waste material and dangerous and hazardous chemicals. We are the same people who will be calling for help the moment our taps stop flowing and we do not get water to do our many household chores. Imagine you not taking your bath for a whole day because there is no water, you can not wash your dirty clothes, no water for cooking and what even baffles me is that whiles we need water urgently, treated water is always used for flushing the water closet. The worst of it all is that thirst  can kill more quickly than hunger. One can go without food for a long time, but can not survive without water for a short time. Your whole body smells when you do not take your bath for the whole day, and not to talk about you not getting water to brush your teeth. Water is indeed life and this precious gift has been given to humankind, but it seems we are not being grateful by polluting our water sources, and cutting down the trees along the banks of our rivers.  I had to write this post due to the current water shortage in my city, Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana for the past three weeks and it seems the situation keeps on getting worse. The rains are not falling and all the taps have stopped flowing. We fear a cholera epidemic might break out due to certain insanitary conditions that may come up as a result of the water shortage. We need water to survive. Do not be surprised when you see me carrying water on my head. Let us do our very best to conserve our water sources because when the last drop of water finishes humankind will cease to exist.