Knight Piésold Ghana held its second Dam Modelling Competition under the theme: “Dams: A Hands-on Experience.” Knight Piésold Ghana challenged participating high school students to design model dams. The competition is a core part of the company’s Schools Initiative Program (SIP). The goal of SIP is to heighten the interest of high school students in Accra to pursue post-secondary education in engineering through practical math and science applications.

Over the past seven years, the SIP has explored a series of debates, quizzes, and other design contests, inspiring a new generation of civil and geotechnical engineers. Participating students attended a one-day preparatory workshop prior to the competition. Students were introduced to the process involved in designing a model dam and were given presentations on basic earth dam design principles, measurements and scaling, safety and teamwork. A set of tools were provided to the students along with materials for practice and concept development.

“Every year, the designs get more creative and the thought process gets a little more complex…The students have done their research and I am impressed with what they have learned over a short period of time.”

Jeffrey Coffin | Regional Manager, Knight Piésold Ghana

On the day of the competition, four teams, consisting of 10 students from each school, built highly creative model dam concepts with features, such as spillways, riprap armor, and safety berms—exhibiting a fair understanding of the principles that were taught. The model water dams were judged for their hydraulic containment, with scores awarded for creativity, storage efficiency, technical understanding, and team performance and presentations.

Wesley Grammar Senior High School emerged winners of the 2019 Dam Modelling Competition, followed by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Margaret Mary, and La Presbyterian Senior High Schools in the second, third, and fourth places, respectively. In recognition of their participation, Wesley Grammar and the two-runner up schools respectively received a 32-inch plasma TV, a wireless printer and A4 paper rims; a 32-inch plasma TV, a printer and A4 paper rims; and a 32-inch plasma TV.

Mr. Robert Boamah, Chairman of the SIP Planning Committee, said this year’s contest registered new participants, as the project was in line with the company’s vision of providing skills training for students. Mr. Boamah said for every country to develop, there was a need to move into more scientific way of doing things, and to realize this, it was important encourage students to pursue science and science related programs of study. He encouraged female students to be inspired by the young female engineers present at the competition and be determined to achieve their dreams.

Knight Piésold Ghana looks forward to interacting with students at the 2020 competition, inspiring them to pursue sciences and applied sciences as a career.