….As expert urges govt to invest in science education
Winners of 2012 Mobil/ STAN national science quiz/project competition have emerged. The winners were announced on Friday in Abuja after a stiff competition amongst science students in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

At the final, Benue State emerged winner in the secondary school category, beating three other contending states (Imo, Rivers and Edo) with 122.25 points while 1st  runner-up was Rivers State with 118.25 points. Second runner-up, Imo State, had 116 points, while 3rd runner-up, Edo State got 104.50 points.

Benue State was represented by Masters Odang Omoha, Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School, Makurdi and Akuhwa Fater, Calvary Arrows College, Gboko, Benue State.

However, in the primary school category which comprises Benue, Imo, Delta and Ondo states, Delta State emerged the overall winner with 128 points as Ondo State came second with a total of 117 points, beating Imo narrowly which had 116.75 points. Master Ufuoma Morgan, DSC Model Primary3, Orhunwhorun, Delta State and Omohwovo Uyota Primary 6, DSC Model Primary, Orhunwhorun, Delta State represented the state.

Questions for secondary school category were drawn from life sciences, Mathematics and vocational sciences. For the primary category, questions were drawn from basic sciences, technology and mathematics. Apart from Mobil splashing a total sum of N1,700,000 on the winners, 56 of the outstanding students are to represent Nigeria abroad in science competition later this year.

Speaking at the occasion, the General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), Mr. Paul Arinze said that science remains the bedrock of any technological advancement that can be achieved anywhere around the world adding that without science, no meaningful technological breakthrough can be contemplated, let alone accomplished.

From Left: Odang Omoha, Omohwovo Uyota, Ufuoma Morgan and Akuhwa Fater, the first winners in primary and secondary school categories.

”When the standard of science education is raised, the country can then be properly aligned on the path to joining the league of technologically advanced nations,” he said.

Arinze pointed out that there is a direct correlation between technological advancement and economic prosperity noting that if you take a look at the countries which have dominated the world economy over the years, you will discover that most, if not all of them, are reference points in technological breakthroughs.

As the institutional  sponsor of the competition for the last 17 years, he reiterated Mobil’s  delight to continue its partnership with STAN by providing a veritable platform  for outstanding science students in the country to showcase their intelligence and skills.

He stated that by supporting education, especially science, mathematics and technology education, “we are making an investment in our future, establishing the next generation of science professionals and equipping them with a strong foundation for the future.”

He said, “We place a high premium on the development of science and technology education, and have over the years demonstrated this commitment in Nigeria through various scholarship schemes (both undergraduate and post-graduate) as well as science infrastructure provision to several schools in Nigeria at all levels.”

According to him, last year, for this reason, they brought Dr Bernard Harris to Nigeria, the first African American astronaut to walk in space to motivate our children to know that they can aspire to do anything in the sciences if they would put their minds to it.

Arinze who noted that his expectation is that the Mobil/STAN National Science Quiz and Project competitions will continue to re-awaken the interest of students and teachers in the sciences, said that he looked forward to the continuation of a mutually beneficial relationship with STAN in a bid to fast track the country’s technological development.

He congratulated the winners and charge them to continue to be hard working and diligent in their studies stressing that he is convinced that in the next few years, many of them will end up as engineers, doctors, astronauts, mathematicians, geologists, or professionals in any of the sciences.

He therefore commended the efforts of STAN and urged all stakeholders involved in developing science education to continue to give their best.


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