Charles Ofori Antepim has created a portable science laboratory he hopes to change how science is practically studied in Africa.
Despite the struggle of parents trying to keep their children in check as to how they take care of their mathematical sets with threats of not buying them anymore, almost every student who has gone through basic education in Ghana has in some way used the basic tools for learning maths.
When it comes to the practical study of science, the vision becomes a mission impossible as the notion of a ‘big laboratory’ still shadows how basic experiments can be done with simple tools.
Charles Ofori Antepim, a Ghanaian innovator who already has a number of innovations including the F.W.S.T Keyboard, Improved Smoke Detector, Evaporative Cooling System, Mechanized Drawing Board and The Silo wants to change the way practical science is studied in Ghana, Africa, and the world.
With his father being a science teacher, Charles tells Business Insider how his did was probably ‘talking science’ to him when he was in his mother’s womb.
His creative and science exploits did not come in any special form according to him.
“I was just like the average kid when I was young. We’d go and take clay, wood, cans and make cars and stuff. Try to create. It was actually nothing special. Every kid in the neigbourhood was doing it,” Charles says.
The young Ghanaian’s love for science even grew stronger when he finally discovered how he could make science discoveries at the community library in Nsoatre, a town in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana.
On the first thing he created in his quest for innovation, Charles Ofori Antepim talks about a detailed paper car with the electronics that ‘wasn’t something that was too fancy’.
“It was a paper car. It had some electronic stuff but the electronics wasn’t something that was too fancy. But the paper car was detailed. It had the seats, dashboard and steering all made of paper. The entire thing was made of paper,” he recalls.
Fast forward to 2017 and Charles wants to help Ghanaian kids have a practical feel of science during the study period.
Dext, his company making the science sets create most of their components from 3D printing. The set can be used to perform basic experiments in circuits, light, sound and more.
Discussing the science set what the goal is, Charles says:
“The science set is targeted currently at basic school. Teachers use it in instructing students. Just like they have a Maths Set, they now have a Science Set.
“The goal is to be able to bring about this science education to a new level. Get to that point where science becomes something that can be easily learnt practically.
“Our goal was to just solve the problem of practically learning science in Ghana. But it is also a problem in Nigeria, a problem in Kenya but we want to fix it in Africa. Actually, the Science Set is even being used in the United States of America.”
The science set won the 2017 American Society of Mechanical Innovation Showcase contest with other two innovators, an international challenge held in Kenya this year.