By Tina Mehnpaine
The Aware International School’s Science and Arts Exhibition was not only a scene of confidence and teamwork displayed by young students but also it was an atmosphere of excitement and pride as parents, friends and teachers cheered the students who presented their arts and science works with poise and skill.
The school’s science exhibition allowed young students to acquaint their visitors with laboratory equipment and experiments.
The highlight of the science exhibition was the demonstration of a surgical procedure performed on a goat by high school students appropriately dressed in lab coats and caps. The goat was sedated and the audience watched intently as its organs that are similar to those of the human body were removed. The process included the application of Lidocaine (a local anesthetic numbing medication). Students displayed the organs similar to those found in humans including the heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys.
Other students presented food chains and models of various projects including air pollution and its preventive measures.
One of the visitors fascinated by the exhibition was Representative Ellen Attoh-Wreh of District #3 in Margibi County who filled in as guest speaker for the Minister of Education who was absent. She lauded the administration of Aware International for staging such an event annually to encourage and promote the students’ interest and abilities in science and arts.
Rep. Ellen Attoh-Wreh, however, drew the attention of the audience to some of the factors associated with students’ poor performance and their decreasing interest in science subjects.
“In high school some of my school mates told me that science subjects were very difficult to comprehend. I think they were not motivated enough.
“The absence of science laboratories in many high schools is one of the problems causing the lack of interest and under-performance of our young students in those subjects,” Rep. Wreh pointed out.
The Lawmaker challenged education authorities in Liberia to work around the problems and at the same time, she urged parents to encourage their students to embrace science subjects.
“Let’s always support the students in the area of the sciences so that more of them will develop interest in the various science programs and become engineers, technicians, pharmacists, and medical doctors that we so greatly need in our country,” she added.
The Director of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel S. Blama Sr, another visiting official at the exhibition, suggested that the Education Ministry revises the existing high school curriculum to include other science subjects that are not yet taught in high schools.
The education sector needs more investment to make science subjects appealing to young students, according to the EPA Director. “As for EPA, we are working with over 50 high schools in Monrovia and its environs to provide environmental education to the young students so that tomorrow they will have rooted knowledge about their environment. I think such an undertaking needs to be emulated,” said Mr. Blama.
Mr. Blama also commended the Aware administration for the important extracurricular activities that it has designed.