TORONTO and BEREKUSO, Ghana, July 30, 2012 /CNW/ - Ashesi University College and The MasterCard Foundation are hosting the first-ever robotics program and competition for secondary school students in Ghana, which will take place from August 6-10 2012. The competition – called Ashesi Robotics Experience (ARX) – aims to encourage African high school students to study computer science, engineering and other market-relevant fields at the university level. ARX will be attended by Honorable Mahama Ayariga – Ghana's Deputy Minister of Tertiary Education, as well as Ashesi's local and international partners. Ashesi University College is a private, non-profit liberal arts college in Ghana with a mission to educate a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa. It was founded by Patrick Awuah - an innovative leader in African higher education.
"The core of the ARX program is to encourage students to improve their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education," said Ashesi President Dr. Patrick Awuah. "Programming a robot requires knowledge of coding, problem-solving, algorithm writing and understanding of basic physics. We hope students walk away excited about math and science and thinking about how they can apply it in their future studies."
ARX will commence on August 6, when 60 students selected from high schools across Ghana arrive at Ashesi and participate in weeklong workshops. Students will work in teams, learn to build and program robots, and participate in computational thinking activities. Throughout the week, they will be mentored by a team of Ashesi faculty, staff and students. ARX culminates with a competition, in which students must complete a set of challenges using their robots. The winning team is announced at the ARX graduation ceremony.
"Ashesi's approach to learning promotes critical thinking and entrepreneurial leadership," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. "By engaging high school students in a robotics program, Ashesi is encouraging young people to develop the technical and soft skills needed for Africa's new knowledge economy."
ARX students will also learn about opportunities to study at Ashesi through the University's partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Over the next nine years, The MasterCard Foundation will enable 200 academically talented, yet financially disadvantaged students from Africa to complete their education at Ashesi. Applicable students will receive a comprehensive set of financial, academic, career and mentorship supports needed to succeed during and after university. Throughout their studies, students will be engaged in service learning and volunteerism. They will be part of a cohort of next-generation African leaders committed to giving back to their communities, and promoting ethics and good governance in Africa.
For more information about ARX, including profiles of participating faculty, staff and students, and details about the 2012 program, visit www.ashesi.edu.gh/arx.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 48 countries, the Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company's initial public offering in 2006. For more information, visit www.mastercardfdn.org.
About Ashesi University College
Ashesi is a world-class university in Ghana that is educating a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders for Africa. Ashesi offers bachelor degree programs in Computer Science, Management Information Systems and Business Administration, with a Liberal Arts core curriculum. From a small class of 30 students, the University's student population has grown to over 500, with an alumni membership of over 400. Ashesi's mission is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within its students the critical thinking skills, concern for others, and courage it will take to transform their continent. For more information, visit www.ashesi.edu.gh.
SOURCE: The MasterCard Foundation
For further information:
Ashesi University College, Ghana, Matthew Taggart, Associate Director of Development, +233-30-261-0330, firstname.lastname@example.org, or U.S., Pam Kahl, President, verbal800 Communications, +1-503-706-0259, email@example.com, or The MasterCard Foundation: Jennifer Kushlis, Director - Weber Shandwick, +1-202-585-2828, firstname.lastname@example.org