• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Helmbridge Science Challenge: Building future scientists, leaders since 1982

Helmbridge Science Challenge: Building future scientists, leaders since 1982

…awards N620,000 in prizes to top student teams in the 42nd competition

The Helmbridge Science Challenge, a flagship initiative of the Educational Co-operation Society, has impacted boys’ education in Lagos for over four decades. This year’s competition concluded with St. Gregory College triumphantly lifting the trophy, marking their second consecutive win against SMAC College.

“Since its inception in 1972, Helmbridge has organised various competitions for secondary schools,” said Wilfred Dieke, the current director of the Helmbridge Study Centre. “The Science Challenge, which has run yearly since 1982, is the most popular. It has become a tradition for many schools to participate, with alumni returning to train current students.”

The Science Challenge is a rigorous six-week quiz contest where students are tested on Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, and General Knowledge. Each team member faces questions individually, showcasing their strengths and contributing to their team’s overall performance. The competition involves a tic-tac-toe game board i.e. the common X and O game, where teams answer questions to complete straight lines in any direction to win a round. In a match there are usually 3 rounds, however, in the finals, there are 5 rounds.

“The process of organizing this event is demanding but the real beauty is in seeing the boys develop sportsmanship, competitiveness, and new ideas through the experience,” the director continued.

Dieke also emphasised the transformative impact of the challenge. “We aim to build good boys and good men who excel academically,” he said. “We are grateful to everyone who has supported us, especially Pa David Edun, a 92-year-old man who sponsored the first and second prizes of N300,000 and N200,000, respectively.”

The competition’s rewards go beyond monetary prizes. “We also offer textbooks and sponsorships to a six-week vacation program for the top participants,” he added. “This program is nearly free for those who make it to the final four.”

This year’s edition saw increased participation, with 20 schools, up from 16 last year. “There have been changes in management and prize amounts, but the most significant changes are in the students,” Dieke noted. “New participants bring continuity and growth to the competition.”

He highlighted the impact on students’ personal development. “Participating in the challenge forces students to study harder and develop patterns of thinking that benefit them in the future. They form bonds and create history together.”

Nyang Timothy, the team captain for Saint Gregory College, expressed his excitement about their victory. “Winning the competition has been very helpful to us all,” he said. “The competition has kept me on my toes, meeting other knowledgeable students and constantly being tested has made me a better person.”

He continued, “As the team captain, rallying the team towards our goal and maintaining composure under pressure was challenging. But my teammates and I supported each other, studying and sharing ideas.”

Reflecting on his future, Timothy said, “I see myself pursuing a field related to astrophysics because I love physics.”

Majekodunmi Olamilekan, the Quiz Master, praised the event’s impact. “Helmbridge Science Challenge is a grooming centre for Lagos State,” he said. “I urge the Lagos State government to support this initiative because it is an investment in our future.”

Similarly, Babayode Samuel Ayodele, the Physics and Maths teacher from St. Gregory’s College, shared his pride in the team’s achievement. “Last year we won the trophy, and this year we did it again. It’s a privilege to witness back-to-back victories. I appreciate the Helmbridge Science Challenge organizers for providing a platform for our boys to showcase their talents. I hope to see this competition expand to include schools from other states.”

The Helmbridge Science Challenge continues to foster educational excellence and inspire young minds, leaving a lasting impact on the participants.