UA student brings science lessons to children of Ghana09/22/2016
Alex Nyarko, a polymer science doctoral student at The University of Akron and Ghana, Africa, native, has created a nonprofit organization called Science on Wheels. The mission of the organization is to spark an interest in science in middle school children.
Q. What inspired you to start your nonprofit organization, Science on Wheels?
A. Science on Wheels started from a desire to share my interest in science with the children back home in Ghana. I strongly believe that in order to advance development in our country and even in the African continent, investment in science must become the priority. We believe that Science on Wheels is our own small way of giving back to our communities.
Q. Do you plan on utilizing Science on Wheels in the U.S., or only internationally?
A. In the interim, Science on Wheels is focused on Ghana and hopefully, Africa. However, as the opportunities arise, we will be pleased to extend our outreach to other locations.
Q. How did The University of Akron help you make this organization/program possible?
A. The University of Akron influenced this vision immensely. I had the privilege of partaking in some science outreach programs organized by the Outreach Office in the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Through these activities I was able to connect with John Fellenstein, the content specialist from the Akron Global Polymer Academy, who helped me with some ideas and material for conducting the outreach program in Ghana.
Q. How do you choose and teach the kids the different science subjects? How does learning these subjects help the students lead better lives?
A. Our primary target group is students from resource-challenged schools at the middle and junior high school levels. The lessons gave the students a different outlook toward science, in which science is a problem-solving tool and not just a subject to be learned for passing exams. It gave them a renewed drive for studying science in school and gave them skill sets that can be translated to other areas of their lives.
Q. What is your favorite part about the experience you had in Ghana?
A. Seeing the expressions of interest and awe on the students’ faces in each of the schools we visited. I am strongly convinced that engaging students in hands-on, simple yet interactive science demonstrations goes a long way toward sparking an interest in science and unearthing their creative capabilities in problem-solving.
Story by Courtney Bosetti
Media contact: Dan Minnich, 330-972-6476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Nyarko is pictured with students at Andrews’ Adventist Preparatory and Junior High School after a lesson.
Alex Nyarko is seen here demonstrating hydrophobic materials to the students from Hopeland Educational Complex.
Here, Alex Nyarko speaks with the students and teachers at Gejoab International School.