Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has announced that the National Communications Authority, will provide an amount of US$5,000 in support of Ghana’s all-girls robotics team as they participate in the Global International Robotics Competition in Mexico.
Ghana will join other participants from over 150 countries in the challenge entitled; “Energy Impact”, with each team collaborating with two other nations to fuel power plants, activate renewable energy sources to fully construct and programme a robot from a standardized kit of parts.
The funding is expected to cover a robot kit required for all teams, visa application fees, food, lodging, and uniforms that will be needed during the competition.
The move comes as STEMbees, a non-profit organisation paid a courtesy call on the minster last Friday in Accra to showcase a piece of their inventions.
Ursula Owusu was thrilled by the enthusiasm of the young girls to build their own robot from some standardized kit of parts within a week.
‘’I am excited that an all-girls robotics team from Ghana will be represented at this competition, and this is to say it is a step forward for women’s empowerment and I urge everyone to support these young girls as they make Ghana proud.’’
She stressed the need to promote and inculcate Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) education among young children across the country.
The team will be represented by students from the Wesley Girls High School and is expected to, in the coming week, travel from Ghana to Mexico for the competition.
STEMbees, is a non-profit organisation that seeks to empower Ghanaian girls in STEM in a bid to close the gender gap in the field.
In 2017, Ghana was represented by six girls from the Archbishop Porter’s Girls School during the inaugural edition of the international robotics competition.
In their presentation, the team showcased a robot which they had built, before going on to meet the U.S First Daughter, Ivanka Trump.
Linda Ansong, Executive Director of STEMBee’s Ghana expressed her gratitude to the Minister and the National Communications Authority for the funding support.
‘’It warms my heart that the Minister, as well as, many other people who have helped raised funds for us believe in our mission. We are thrilled to make the dreams of some of our country’s smartest minds become a reality. These young girls are excited and are privileged to work to make Ghana proud at this competition.’’
The girl’s robotics team, which was founded in 2014 by three women, Linda Ansong, Angela Korateng and Lady-Omega Hammond is being mentored and supported by STEMbees, and engages primary and secondary school girls in STEM activities including, Coding, 3D Design and Printing, Electronics, Robotics, and STEM Career Awareness.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah