The subject for this year’s conference is “Discover & Recover,” which focuses on finding new ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Teenagers from all over the world are needed to produce solutions to the difficulties that the COVID-19 epidemic has posed, ranging from social projects to small satellites to robot design.
This year, Ghana is represented by twelve students from Aburi Girls’ Senior High School in the Eastern region. This virtual season began on June 27, 2021, and will end on September 28, 2021, with the all-girls squad as a participant. A Solutions challenge, a CubeSat challenge, and a Robotics challenge are the three main components of the competition.
Teams compete in the Solutions Challenge to develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) solutions to local problems caused by the epidemic in the areas of education, the environment, health, and the economy.
Team Ghana’s approach focuses on creating biodegradable nasal masks made of plantain fibers that are more pleasant to wear and don’t require any strings.
The issue noticed by the girls is that many Ghanaians do not properly dispose of single-use nasal masks. If not properly disposed of, these disposable nose masks are constructed of polypropylene, which takes a long time to disintegrate and can transfer a wide range of viruses, including the coronavirus, into water bodies, soil, and eventually to animals and back to us humans.
Many people also complain about how unpleasant the masks are to wear, leading them to wear them incorrectly or not at all.
Plantain trees are widely found throughout the United States. After the fruits are plucked, the stems are frequently let to decay. These plantain tree pseudostems, on the other hand, may be recycled into fiber, decreasing waste and giving a cost-effective alternative to cotton in the production of more environmentally friendly nose masks for everyone.
The prototyping of a CubeSat is one of the most interesting aspects of this year’s FIRST Global Challenge. On September 25, 2021, the girls will launch a CubeSat micro satellite prototype into the lowest levels of the Earth’s atmosphere, which they designed and built.
With fast shifting seasons as a result of climate change, the weather has become unpredictable. As a result, Team Ghana’s purpose for the satellite prototype includes weather monitoring (temperature measurements and aerial photographs of clouds) as well as air quality assessment in the Aburi area. Finally, in the Robotics Challenge, teams will work on four different tasks to improve their robot design, construction, and programming skills.
The STEMbees Organization is guiding Team Ghana. STEMbees is a non-profit organization that engages female students in activities like ICT, robotics, coding, and 3D design to increase their confidence, interest, and skills in STEM courses and careers.