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Topics / African Higher Education Policy

US-Ghanaian Teens Team Up for STEM Competition

High school students from IREX World Smarts STEM Challenge pitch their solutions to environmental problems at Carnegie Corporation of New York


"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. 

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


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.