Strengthening Astronomy and Stem Education in Ghana through School Astronomy Clubs

Sarah Abotsi-Masters, Naomi Asabre Frimpong, Eugene Tetteh-Owusu Okwei, Joshua Kalognia, Stephen Ofoe Sottie, Proven-Adzri Emmanuel, Zeba Mubarak, Rubby Aworka, Seyram Yaw Ampofo , Francis Kudjoe, Kingsley Ahenkora-Duodu, ALbert Kuntu Forson, Ebenezer Abotsi , Francis Andorful – PRAGSAC

“Ghana is well-positioned to benefit from its status as an SKA (Square Kilometre Array) African partner country, with the added advantage of hosting its own radio astronomy observatory. However, the majority of the general population are not aware of these facts, there is little astronomy on the curriculum and media reporting related to science and astronomy is generally limited. In order to stimulate more interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and to prepare the future running of the observatory, an outreach team was established – PRAGSAC.
PRAGSAC primarily focused on strengthening STEM education through astronomy by setting up school astronomy clubs and providing hands-on, practical activities (which are often absent from school science lessons) as part of the club sessions. Teacher-training was provided to give teachers the skills to independently manage the clubs and to ensure an effective learning environment.

Additional activities included inspirational talks by local and international astronomers, and participation in the Eratosthenes experiment and the Name ExoWorlds campaign. The team is currently preparing for the first inter-schools astronomy quiz in Ghana!

Feedback from the participants was very positive, with a noticeable increase in student enthusiasm for science and teachers reported feeling more confident in teaching astronomy. The surveys gathered also showed an improvement in astronomy knowledge and understanding. This indicates astronomy clubs can be a powerful tool in cultivating a greater number of scientists and astronomers which is a key factor in the country’s future growth and development.”

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Strengthening Astronomy and Stem Education in Ghana through School Astronomy Clubs