Opinion

Forces of nature and their analogy to the state of education in Nigeria by Tola Salau

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“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller

Our organization, Carisma4U Educational Foundation, a social innovation outfit just concluded our participation in the first Science Technology Innovation exhibition at Abuja, Nigeria. There were several objectives of the exhibition—i) Bringing to the forefront the capabilities of Nigerian scientists, Engineers and innovators in contributing to the economic diversification of Nigeria. ii) Promote collaborations amongst research institutions and researchers/inventors and iii) Facilitate growth of indigenous manufacturing hinged on Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) and promote STI culture in Nigeria.

It was a week of enthusiasm, revelation and resolve. We saw and interacted with a lot of scientists, inventors and engineers. We rejoiced that the spirit of discovery wasn’t totally stifled by the non enabling environment that hasn’t been encouraging to these people. In physics, the fundamental interactions, also known as fundamental forces, are the interactions that do not appear to be reducible to more basic interactions. There are four conventionally accepted fundamental interactions—gravitational, electromagnetic, strong, and weak.  We saw these forces at work last week.

Starting with gravitational— Gravity, or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass are brought toward (or gravitate toward) one another, including planets, stars and galaxies. There was a pull between all of the scientists and engineers. To support each other and lift each other up. We shared stories of resilience and determination to ensure that we contributed to society using our gifts. There were students who created a magnetic generator—depicting what they had been taught in Physics class. Another parent had research about the conversion of biomass waste to methane gas for energy usuage. She incorporated her children’s skills and efforts into this project. It was a laudable one.
Electromagnetic forces are created by the physical interaction that occurs between electrically charged particles.

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