Space Science System Research Institute to inspire 1000 girls in Ghana with space education

The Space Science System Research Institute (SSSRI) an independent private research institute is set to train 1000 girls in Basic and Senior High Schools across the country in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The training is to spark new interests, make real-life connections, and fight stereotypes and obstacles facing young girls and women in Ghana.

Space Science Systems Research Institute (SSSRI) is Ghana’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Ghana’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Ghana and Africa. SSSRI aspires to be

  •  Ghana’s first private space science institute.
  •  Africa’s leading space systems institute.
  •  A leader in space research and technology.
  •  Be a research centre for aspiring engineers to train
  •  A place where ideas become reality.
  •  An institute that delivers nothing but excellence.

“The STEM training must be made a priority for all females to stimulate critical thinking skills, foster collaboration and prioritise problems based learning, which drives innovation, the fuel for economic success,” Mr. Kow Panyin Nketsiah Richardson, Director of Communication said in a statement in commemoration of the United Nations 2019 International Women and STEM) Day celebration.

The UN theme is “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth” while the SSSRI has “Get 1000 Girls in STEM Education” as a local motivation.

He said the programme was estimated to cost about $200,000 and would inspire creativity and curiosity in females through engaging hands-on practical base activities that demonstrated and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“Our goal is that through demonstrations, conversations and engaging in hands-on practical base experiments presented by women in STEM education, young girls will become empowered, cultivate confidence, and develop a deeper understanding that everything is possible in life and in the world.”

Ghana has persistent inequities in access, participation, and success in STEM subjects that exist along socio-economic, gender, and geographic lines, as well as among students with disabilities.

The statement said UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women and only around 30 per cent of all female students selected STEM related fields in higher education.

Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 per cent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5 per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 per cent).

The Long-standing biases and gender stereotypes continue to scare women and girls away from science related fields and in order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Mr. Richardson said it was in recognition of the widening skills and opportunity gaps in STEM that, the Space Science System Research Institute (SSSRI) initiated several efforts to motivate action to meet the demands of a technology-driven economy, ensure national security, and maintain pre-eminence in scientific research and technological innovation.

He mentioned that in 2015 and 2016, SSSRI initiated the agenda to improve STEM education in the country.

Over the last two decades Ghana has invested heavily in improving access to, and enhancing the quality of STEM education as part of efforts to achieving one of Ghana’s United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to increase the number of science students in the country’s technical institutions by a minimum of 60 per cent.

“We wish to commend the government and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo as part of its educational reforms plans to devote a minimum of one per cent (1 per cent) of GDP towards the promotion of research and development expenditure of STEM education in the country.

This shows that STEM education has been recognised as a key driver of opportunity in equipping learners with the knowledge, hands-on skills and dispositions to effect changes in our society,” the statement added.

Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He said through the promotion of STEM education in schools would nurture a versatile pool of talents with different sets and levels of skills to enhance the competitiveness of Ghanaian students through, hands-on activities, talk with female professionals in STEM+ careers and participate in fun STEM demonstrations with local companies, schools, and organisations displaying interactive booths.

“We have been promoting STEM education among schools in a holistic and coherent manner, with strategies that embrace renewing the curricula of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education and enriching the learning activities for students….we are confident that recommended actions plan of SSSRI would lead us to a new phase of quality education that can unleash the potential of all students and equip them with necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to live and develop in the contemporary world of evolving science and technology.”