By Grace Orok
The management of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) has congratulated the contingent of the UNICAL International Demonstration Secondary School UCIDSS Craft House for placing first in a national science and crafts competition held last week at Enugu state.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu said the win at the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition by the Craft House has put the institution on the international map especially as the contingent was among the youngest, which he described as “very significant,” that has made the state as well as the country proud.
“What we are seeing from you is very unbelievable and rare and I think with your generation there is hope for Nigeria. Your generation will probably be the ones that will produce Nobel Laureates in science for us since before now Nigeria has not been well known outside for scientific discoveries except for good music and acting.
“The first Nobel Laureate Africa ever got was from the arts (Literature) and this had served as a huge challenge to our scientists. You deserve to be projected nationally with this feat that has not been achieved by even veterans.
“We would ensure we get you across to the Minister of Science and Technology and would also think of how to provide school fee waivers for you and encourage you to participate in many more national competitions,” Zana said and admonished staff and students of the institution to continue working hard.
The Craft House SAGE coordinator, Mrs. Christy Okoh who was awarded best SAGE coordinator and adviser worldwide a few years ago said the Craft House began activities on May 27, 2012 and since then, has won numerous awards following spectacular showings and activities.
Coordinator Okoh said the UCIDSS Craft House which is a subsidiary of SAGE worldwide has won first position several times.
“Since the inception of SAGE in 2012, we have always been converting waste to wealth and have made the state and the nation proud by winning first position consecutively from 2013 to 2017 in Nigeria and also at the international level at South Korea in 2015,” coordinator Okoh said.
The team presented an award to Akpagu with a team member, Daniel Orok explaining their choice of activity for the competition.
“We saw the challenge of electricity supply and the hazardous effect of fossil fuel burning and decided to come up with a safer means of power supply that is cost efficient, effective and reliable. On this note, we were able to successfully construct the CH-Water generator that is powered with water and made from recycled iron and tin ore and invariably, does not emit harmful gases,” Orok said.
“After our research, we considered improper disposal of refuse to have adverse effect, especially on our health which could be deteriorating. On grounds of this, we launched into the streets in search of waste materials (plastics) for reuse and recycling into furniture,” added another team member who was simply identified as Oluchi.