The University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) is to hold a maiden science festival slated for Wednesday February 8 to Sunday February 12 this year at its campus in Sunyani.
The main proposal of the five-day event is “to combine three worlds –daily life, science and business to show the relations and areas of integration among them and the need to promote its study as a nation”.
Mrs. Kamila Justina Kabo-bah, a lecturer, School of Geosciences at the University, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview at Sunyani.
She said to achieve the programme’s target, series of science-related shows, workshops, discussions, lectures and field trips, which is aimed at Junior/Senior High Schools (J/SHSs) and university students, has been lined up.
Mrs. Kabo-bah, the Coordinator of the Festival, said besides the students, the general public in the Sunyani Municipality and the Brong-Ahafo Region at large could participate “to meet face to face with real science”.
The participants would visit available scientific laboratories and workplaces of scientists/researchers and representatives of science-related institutions, organisations and companies to enable them “to know the scientific point of view on many issues and phenomena of daily life,” she stated.
Explaining the rationale behind the event, Mrs. Kabo-bah indicated that “people are hindered by the intimidation and the cultural willingness to stay away from science and if there is celebratory environment around science, one that gains a critical mass of great scientists, the general public and media attention can begin to influence that cultural perspective”.
She continued that Act 230, section 201, sub-section one of 2011, identified science as one of the areas affecting energy and natural resources, saying that “with the nation’s energy challenges, it is important to develop a culture of seriousness with science and technology”.
Mrs. Kabo-bah contended that a science festival would showcase science and technology with the same freshness and flair that would be expected from an arts or music festival.
She reiterated that the event would afford knowledge on the scientific basis of various subjects and everyday occurrences in life and the objective of it therefore “is to popularise science” among J/SHSs students and stimulate its study by most of them.
Mrs. Kabo-bah expressed the hope that it would guarantee adequate number of scientists and technologists to identify solutions for the country’s future scientific and technological needs for its holistic progress because “credible models show that by the end of the century, essentially all of the fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal on earth will be consumed”.
She announced that the University had planned to establish a permanent office by the end of the year for the Festival to be held annually.
Mrs. Kabo-bah said the organisers had arranged for the United States of America National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to present the “Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)” programme through tele-conference for the benefit of participants.
The GLOBE Programme is “an international science and education programme that provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process, and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the Earth system and global environment”.
Mrs. Kabo-bah said the “participation is free” as the organisers would provide snacks, transportation from the schools to UENR and travel to the Bui National Park.
She therefore appealed to corporate and charitable organisations and philanthropists to assist the University financially to make the Festival successful.