Download the National Science and Maths Quiz Theme Song by Gibson Christian
National Science and Maths Quiz: A Celebration of Ghana's Brightest Minds
If you are a fan of science and maths, or if you are curious about Ghana's education system, you have probably heard of the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ). NSMQ is an annual quiz competition that tests the knowledge and skills of senior high school students in science and maths subjects. It is one of the most popular and prestigious academic events in Ghana, attracting thousands of viewers, supporters, sponsors, and alumni. But what makes NSMQ so special? Why is it important for Ghana's development? And how can you join the NSMQ community and celebrate Ghana's brightest minds? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, as we explore the history, structure, theme song, winners, and future of NSMQ.
The History of NSMQ
The idea for the production of a quiz programme aimed at encouraging the study of the sciences and maths was not mooted at a national science fair or conference. It happened on the tennis court of the University of Ghana, Legon in 1993. A lecturer from the Department of Physics, Dr. Eureka Emefa Adomako, was playing tennis with some colleagues when one of them asked her a question about why birds can stand on electric wires without getting shocked. She explained the answer using physics concepts, and then suggested that such questions could be used to create a quiz show for students. She shared her idea with another lecturer from the Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, who agreed to help her develop it. Together, they approached Primetime Limited, a television production company, to pitch their idea. Primetime Limited liked the idea and decided to produce it as a pilot project.
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The first edition of NSMQ was held in 1994, with 32 schools from across the country participating. The schools were divided into two sectors: Northern Sector and Southern Sector, with 16 schools per sector. The quiz was broadcast on Ghana Television (GTV) every Saturday morning, and soon gained popularity among students and teachers. The first winner of NSMQ was Prempeh College from Kumasi, who beat Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School (PRESEC) from Legon in the final. Since then, NSMQ has seen 28 exciting editions, with different schools emerging as champions over the years. Some of the most successful schools in NSMQ history are PRESEC Legon (with seven trophies), Prempeh College (with five trophies), Opoku Ware School (with two trophies), St. Peter's Secondary School (with two trophies), Achimota School (with two trophies), Mfantsipim School (with two trophies), St. Augustine's College (with two trophies), Adisadel College (with one trophy), Pope John Secondary School (with one trophy), Ghana Secondary Technical School (with one trophy), and St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School (with one trophy).
NSMQ has not only been a quiz show, but also a platform for inspiring generations of students and alumni to pursue excellence in science and maths, as well as other fields of endeavour. Many NSMQ alumni have gone on to become prominent professionals, leaders, and innovators in various sectors of society, such as academia, medicine, engineering, law, business, politics, arts, and media. Some of the notable NSMQ alumni include Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann (the current quiz mistress and a lecturer at the University of Ghana), Dr. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng (a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and a former Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation), Dr. Patrick Awuah (the founder and president of Ashesi University), Dr. Kwaku Aning (a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency), Dr. Thomas Mensah (an inventor and a pioneer of fibre optics technology), Dr. Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong (a skier and an Olympian), Nana Aba Anamoah (a journalist and a media personality), and many others.
The Structure of NSMQ
The NSMQ competition is organized into two stages: the regional qualifiers and the national championship. The regional qualifiers are held in each of the 16 regions of Ghana, where schools compete for a slot in the national championship. The number of slots per region depends on the number of schools that register for the competition. The regional qualifiers are usually held between February and March every year.
The national championship is held in Accra, where the qualified schools from the regions battle for the ultimate prize: the NSMQ trophy and the title of national champions. The national championship consists of four rounds: the preliminary stage, the one-eighth stage, the quarter-final stage, and the semi-final stage. The preliminary stage involves 135 schools that are grouped into 45 contests of three schools each. The winners of each contest qualify for the one-eighth stage, where they are joined by 27 seeded schools that performed well in the previous edition. The one-eighth stage involves 72 schools that are grouped into 24 contests of three schools each. The winners of each contest qualify for the quarter-final stage, where they are grouped into eight contests of three schools each. The winners of each contest qualify for the semi-final stage, where they are grouped into four contests of two schools each. The winners of each contest qualify for the grand finale, where they compete for the ultimate glory.
The NSMQ quiz consists of five rounds: Round One (General Questions on Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics), Round Two (The Speed Race), Round Three (Problem of the Day), Round Four (True or False), and Round Five (Riddles). Each round has different rules and scoring systems, which are explained by the quiz mistress before each contest. The questions are designed by a team of experts from various fields of science and maths, who ensure that they are relevant, accurate, and challenging. The questions cover both theoretical and practical aspects of science and maths, as well as current issues and trends in science and technology.
The NSMQ prizes and awards are sponsored by various organizations and individuals who support the vision and mission of the competition. The prizes and awards include cash prizes, scholarships, trophies, plaques, medals, certificates, books, laptops, tablets, smartphones, souvenirs, and other items. Some of the major sponsors of NSMQ include Absa Bank Ghana Limited (the headline sponsor), Prudential Life Insurance Ghana (the co-sponsor), Ghana Education Service (the implementing partner), Academic City College (the special awards sponsor), eCampus Ghana Limited (the learning platform sponsor), DStv Ghana (the broadcast sponsor), Goil Ghana Limited (the official fuel sponsor), among others.
The Theme Song of NSMQ
One of the most distinctive features of NSMQ is its theme song, which is played at the beginning and end of every contest. The theme song is a rendition of the Ghana National Anthem in four-part harmony, sung by an all-female choir from Wesley Girls' High School in Cape Coast. The theme song was composed by Mrs. Grace Amoako-Boateng, a music teacher at Wesley Girls' High School, who arranged the anthem in a unique way to suit the mood and tone of NSMQ.
The theme song has become a symbol of excellence and pride for NSMQ participants and fans, who often sing along or hum to it during or after a contest. The theme song also serves as a reminder of the national identity and values that NSMQ seeks to promote among Ghanaian students and citizens. The theme song expresses the hope and aspiration that Ghana will be blessed with more brilliant minds who will use their talents and skills to advance science and maths education and development in the country.
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