Over 1000 Nigerian Children gathered at the Nigerian Televisions Authority (NTA) arena to mark this years childrens day event. This was an oppourtunity to teach children about being better in the futre and OFAB used the medium to "Catch them Young" and educate them on science contribution to the worls especially in Agriculture.
Cross section of the Children at the Event
The benefits of learning about science for young kids are enormous, Science does not just involve a lot of experiments and theories; it develops patience, too because a lot of the times in science, things don't happen overnight. Perseverance, problem-solving and researching are other skills of life children learn through science. Science also helps them learn to form their own opinions, rather than taking those of others for granted. They’ve got to be able to say they have looked at all sides of the divide before arriving at a personal opinion. Today, children are learning and developing quickly. They are playing, learning and experimenting. They are also beginning to get a sense of their own identity and how they may be different from others. It is therefore important that they are introduced early to science because it has the potential to help them to think about what could happen before they do it, by creating a hypothesis in their minds. Kids learn that not everything works the first time. Some experiments may fail and you have to find out what went wrong, and try again. Science teaches kids about the way the world works like how plants grow or why the body needs water.
It is from this background that OFAB in partnership with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) organized a children’s day party for children in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital. Children's Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world. It celebrates children globally. In Nigeria, it is celebrated on the 27th May every year. OFAB understands that for children, science is just an extension of their everyday world and so they weren’t trying to teach them how to wonder, discover, and explore because they do it naturally. All OFAB set out to do was to make them to develop interest in science by presenting it in the right way. As agricultural Biotechnology advocates, creating experiences that will have a lasting impact on young students throughout their entire lives and possibly shape the choice of their careers is of utmost importance to us.
The Country Coordinator OFAB Dr. Mrs. Rose Gidado while introducing the children to the field of biotechnology emphasized its importance to human life and the strength of Nigeria’s economy. It was an unforgettable learning experience as they kids listened with rapt attention. OFAB believes this will inspire and motivate them to want to learn and explore more about biotechnology on their own. From her introduction, the kids could now see that they too, may one day be capable of creating solutions to big problems such as reducing poverty through the improvement of seeds to grow stronger crops. According to Dr. Rose Gidado, “Our actions today in the area of early childhood science education will have a greater impact on growing next generation and it all starts with creating unforgettable learning experiences that never lose the element of fun. You don’t need to have a degree in chemistry to help your child(ren) become better science thinkers. As parents we should model their curiosity by helping them make observations about the world around them, permit them to ask questions, and try to explain why things are the way they are. Just by being curious, observing and asking how things work, you can peek a child’s natural curiosity and create a desire to want to learn more”.
Science is the perfect subject to complement a child's natural curiosity. It's practical and relevant and kids embrace it without thinking about it. There will be plenty of exciting and worthwhile jobs for kids who study science in the future. When we look at science and the discoveries so far, we've only scratched the surface”. “This is why when the opportunity to help raise awareness for science among kids arises OFAB doesn’t think twice” she addeed.
The high point of the children’s day party was the Master and Miss OFAB quiz competition.
Here children having being introduced to the basics of biotechnology were asked to answer questions related to it and the best male and female participant in the quiz having convincingly answered the highest number of questions in the quiz were crowned Master and Miss OFAB respectively. During and after the quiz competition, everyone was enthusiastic, from the teachers to the parents. Because they knew that the simple explanation and questions about the science of biotechnology will continually liven up the topic in the hearts of the kids wherever it is mentioned and make it easier for children to engage with it in the future.
More Pictures from this Event can be found Here: