Liberia: Students Win Science Fair Awards at AlCummings Model Science and Tech School

Tenth grader Elias M. Chebli won first place in the senior high division at the second annual Science Fair at the Alexander B. Cummings Model Science and Technology School (ABCMSTS), held on July 12 and 14. 

His project, the Mechanically Powered Engine Igniter, demonstrated his ingenuity and creativity. This win was followed by ninth-graders, Derrick Snyder and Damien  Reeves, who were pleased when they took first place in the junior high division of the Fair. 

Their winning project, the Electrical Blender, demonstrated a mathematical composition of blended wires to produce light without electricity.  

This year’s Science Fair was organized under the theme: Investigating Community-Based Challenges to Foster Systemic Growth. 

The Fair, sponsored by the Cummings Africa Foundation, engaged students in research, experiments, and collaboration with their teachers to produce projects that were validated by a panel of judges. Their projects drew on principles in the fields of biology, physics, engineering and technology. 

The Alexander B. Cummings Model Science and Technology School (ABCMSTS) is a STEM School located on Duport Road in Paynesville, Montserrado County.  The school was established in 2015 as a public-private partnership institution through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Government of Liberia and the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company. 

The school is subsidized by the Cummings Africa Foundation with funding for operations. The mandate of  the school is to provide STEM education — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — to young Liberians from grades 7 thru 12. 

These STEM subjects are taught in an interdisciplinary method. An early foundation would enable and encourage students to pursue higher education and careers in the STEM areas.  Since there is a dearth of graduates in these areas across Liberia, early intervention is required. Therefore, students are recruited at the age of 13 or below. 

The school opened its doors in September 2016 with ninety-three 7th graders and, each year, a grade was added, resulting in five grades for the academic year of 2021- 2022 – 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, 11th, and 12th. The current student population is 315 strong. The graduation for the inaugural senior class will take place in October 2022.