.Launch quiz for 1,500 students

From Okwe Obi, Abuja

In a bid to encourage students to study science-related courses, ExxonMobil Foundation and Junior Achievement Nigeria, have launched the Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) quiz for 1,500 students in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil Subsidiaries in Nigeria, Shane Harris, said the organisations embarked on the competitive idea to enable them produce cutting-edge technology in future through the knowledge of STEM.

Harris explained that the contest would also be stretched to students in Namibia, Angola and Mozambique.

“The ExxonMobil Foundation STEM Africa initiative represents our commitment to nurturing the next generation of Nigerian leaders and innovators.

“Through this initiative, we aim to inspire, educate, and empower young minds to pursue careers in STEM fields, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to thrive in the global economy of today and tomorrow,” he said.

Harris, represented by Nigel Cookey-Gam, who is the General Manager Public and Government Affairs, of ExxonMobil added: “We realize that the future of every nation is dependent on the leaders you raise, and STEM is the area that you see that the world is going.

“Everybody is talking about Artificial intelligence, and you have to ground your children in that to be able to compete effectively.

“What we want to do is encourage STEM development in our students. Statistics tell you that fewer people, especially females, don’t take up STEM subjects. So, you need to encourage them from the ground up.

“All over the world, you see most countries, they have, from a young age, they’re building them and developing them, nurturing them, and that is how you get inventors, you get scientists, people who invent things, and change the course of humanity.

“We have spent over 30 billion. We have done scholarships, we have done projects in schools.

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“This STEM Africa is across Africa, so we’re doing it in Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia.

“We are expecting that this programme will touch at least 3, 000 students across the four countries. And this is more like a pilot. It is not the end.”

On his part, Acting Executive Director, Junior Achievement Nigeria, Olaolu Akigun, said the project would be followed gingerly and policies implemented to ensure that bright minds are identified to champion STEM on the continent.

“The ExxonMobil Foundation STEM Africa project is not just another initiative; it’s a transformative journey. With a mission to prepare 1,500 secondary school students in Abuja for future STEM careers, this project is set to revolutionize the way we approach education.

“What sets this partnership apart is its power-packed approach; the empowering stages to stimulating experiences, every aspect of this project is designed to engage African students aged 12-17 and inspire them to tackle real-world challenges using STEM.

“Remember, STEM competitions are taking place across 5 Local Government Areas in Abuja, offering you the chance to represent your community at a major regional industry conference in Cape Town, South Africa. But beyond the competition, the most important thing is to keep learning and growing.

“And it is important for young students in Nigeria, especially those in senior secondary school, to pursue STEM careers, because this is a critical area that can help them to contribute to the global economy through providing solutions.

“Eventually, there will be an innovation camp that will take place much later around June, July, where the winning schools from the five local governments that are participating in the project will come together for an innovation camp where they will taught design thinking, critical thinking, and they will also have a chance to be mentored by experienced ExxonMobil staff as a way of inspiring and preparing them for the future.

“There will be a regional event in Cape Town, South Africa, where the winning team from Nigeria will be representing and they will join other colleagues and contemporaries from Namibia, Angola and Mozambique at that event.”

The Africa’s No1 STEM quiz featured subjects like biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, which most of the questions are centered around, including general knowledge.

At the end of the contest, students from Government Secondary School, Wuye, Safiya Ibrahim, scored 14, Ugaji Uneko scored 14 and Adebimpe Oluwapelumi pulled 14, won the 6 rounds of intense quiz to win against 5 other government schools in AMAC.

The three students who represented their school expressed excitement for winning the feat and said they should prepare better for the next level of the Innovation Camp.