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Ghana's Lively Program Expands

More than 90 teachers from across Ghana convened for the country's first GLOBE Teachers Conference, which included a launch of the recently added ozone and aerosol protocols. Trainers and trainees also tested the deep red clay and sandy soils, which contrasted mightily with the equally deep greens of the area's vegetation. Clothing of lovely patterned fabrics, added to the striking beauty of the surroundings. The colors were matched by strong feelings of energy and enthusiasm among the group.

Ghana's GLOBE Country Coordinator Reverend Emmanuel Kingsley Dadebo echoed that sense of energy. "The black star in the flag of Ghana will rise high in the sky with GLOBE data," he said. Ghana and 36 secondary schools joined the GLOBE program three years ago. There are now three GLOBE-trained teachers at each of the GLOBE schools, and the program continues to grow as teachers are trained in new protocols.

Teachers from five schools were selected to learn the aerosol measurement and teachers from another five were chosen to learn the ozone measurement. Dr. David Brooks, a Principal Science Investigator for the GLOBE Aerosol Measurement, said the strength of the program is in the schools' data. "The environment itself is silent," he said to the conference participants. "You are the voice of the environment."

Conference participants also included Emmanuel Gyamera, head of Ghana's National Science Resource Centers Project, which aims to boost the sciences in the country's secondary schools; Kwasi Owusu-Afnyie, deputy coordinator for the project; and Kobina Adu Lartson, a teacher from the Bishop Herman Secondary School. Twenty-one resource centers are working with GLOBE schools.

GLOBE in Ghana is also working with the Ghana Meteorological Service Department to foster relationships with local scientists. In addition, the program has been in touch with local suppliers of scientific equipment to help obtain and maintain needed supplies. In a show of support for the program, the Ministry of Education granted Rev. Dadebo funds to attend GLOBE's annual conference in Seattle.

GLOBE has gained strength in Ghana in large part due to the enthusiasm and support of the participating teachers. "I see GLOBE as a way to sensitize teachers to the environment, which will then spread throughout the students and their communities," said GLOBE teacher Suzy Manu.

08 January 2002