Two Ghanaian scientists, Charles Ofori Antipem and Michael Afrifa have emerged winners in this year’s American Society of Mechanical Innovation Showcase contest.
Their innovative portable science lab in a form of a mathematical set by the two won the hearts of panellists and other participants, to beat eight other pairs of contestants.
Known as the DEXT Science Set, the device which is similar to mathematical set has basic science experiment tools. It also has apparatus to facilitate understanding of science education from the basic level.
The hardware-led social innovation programme is aimed at solving social and environmental issues by establishing the most innovative idea.
Nine finalists from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana were shortlisted out of 30 finalists who came before the judges with their ideas.
Participants receive feed-back on their idea, access to industry best practice and contact with a global community of engineering experts.
Winners become part of the Innovative Showcase (ISHOW) alumni network, a global community of hardware innovators.
The highly scalable portable science laboratory by the Ghanaians fits into a bag and can be set up on a student’s desk.
The pleasant twist about the Ghanaian innovation is that all the judges purchased one for personal use.
Charles Ofori Antipem is co-founder and representative of the group in Kenya.
He says the initiative seeks to address difficulty associated with teaching and learning of science learning at the basic level.
The highly scalable science laboratory can fit into a bag and can be set up on a student’s desk.
Hardware-led social innovation takes a physical product to market to solve a social or environmental problem, using sustainable business model.
It focuses, specifically, on design and engineering journey of ventures.
They focus on eight themes, including water and sanitation, energy, environment as well as food and agriculture.
The rest are education, economic development and community empowerment as well as safety.