US-Ghanaian Teens Team Up for STEM Competition

Teams proposed sustainable solutions to global problems.

"We are all very thrilled to have you here and to learn more about all the truly innovative and highly collaborative projects you have been working on" said Ambika Kapur, Program Officer for Education at Carnegie Corporation of New York, welcoming IREX World Smarts STEM Challenge finalists, teachers, staff and guests to the corporation's office. The finalists presented their solutions from the contest and showcase held on March 18, 2017. 

About IREX

IREX works with partners around the world to promote more just, prosperous and inclusive societies by engaging and empowering youth, cultivating leaders at all levels of society, strengthening institutions, and expanding access to quality education and information. 

Read more about IREX on their website.

World Smarts STEM Challenge is an exchange initiative that pairs high school students and teachers from Washington D.C. and Ghana on collaborative teams tasked with creating STEM solutions to global problems based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 17 bi-national teams competed to address the following goals:

(1) defend your community against hazardous waste; or   
​(2) re-power your community's energy use.

The three finalist teams/projects included:

Team: Big Bang... Brains of the World!

Edinaman Senior High School from Elmina, Ghana Eleanor Roosevelt High School from Prince George’s County, Maryland, USA
Solution: Generating Electricity through Soil

Team: The Energizers
Accra Academy from Accra, Ghana Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School from Washington, DC, USA
Solution: A Cleaner Footprint, One Footstep at a Time: Repowering Kinetic Energy using Piezo-Mats

Team: McKwiny
Winneba Secondary School, Winneba, Ghana McKinley Technology High School, Washington, DC, USA
Solution: Indigenous Water Purifier

Claudia Frittelli Program Officer for Higher Education and Research in Africa at Carnegie Corporation of New York said, "over the history of mankind. . . those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed; I think these students are an excellent example of how that has happened."

About World Smarts STEM Challenge

Today’s youth need skills in STEM, innovation, and collaboration across cultures. The World Smarts STEM Challenge pairs high school teachers and students from different countries on gender-balanced, collaborative teams. The challenge builds skills in innovation, investigation, problem-solving, and collaboration with people from different backgrounds. It equips diverse students—boys and girls—for successful STEM careers.

Read more about the World Smarts STEM Challenge.