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Chidinma Agili, Britarch student, Space Ambassador, wants to be a doctor

*Will love to visit NASA space centre in Houston

By Olajide Fashikun

Chidinma Agili is the first runner up of the senior secondary school category of the Nigeria Space Ambassador sponsored by the National Space Research and Development Agency. This is the very first edition.

other students of Britarch School sharing the excellence of Miss Chidinma Agili
Other students of Britarch School sharing the excellence of Miss Chidinma Agili

“Her Physics teacher, Mr. Moses Mgukpan, needs to be specially commended for his dexterity. He is a graduate of the Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi. There are six of them from that University whose commitment to work is outstanding,” said another teacher of the Britarch Schools.

Mrs Chichi Phillips-Oriahi commended the principal, Mr Ngor Barnabas. The teachers are so wonderful. They take our children through thorough programmes. I am not surprised the result is part of what we see in Chidinma. She got a telescope and an Access Bank cheque for N75,000 and made our institution so proud.

Students at the ceremony to announce winners
Students at the ceremony to announce winners

Library Prefect of her school. I like reading books. Gifted Hands by Ben Carson is one of the books I have read and enjoyed reading.

Amerdi is a prototype of a rocket he designed using a drone system. That boy is in primary school. He told the audience that he wants to change the world. He is an eight year old boy. I fancy him. He is from Adamawa State. His name is Ambassador Daniel. He is the only one from primary school. Three are from senior secondary and three from junior secondary school.

I am 13 years old and from Asaba in Delta State. I am Ibo by tribe. My dad is Samuel Agili. He is a businessman in Abuja. My mother Dumebi, she is tax manager with the Federal Inland Revenue Service. I have two siblings.

Guests celebrating the excellence of the winners
Guests celebrating the excellence of the winners

I wrote an essay how space science and technology can help economic growth in Nigeria. I sent it in. I was called in as one of the Top 12 in the country. 484 schools submitted essays. Among the 12, we were checked to find out if we actually wrote the essays. That distinguished me. I successfully defended it in all the four stages: written, practical. We were given a new telescope and asked to put it together. We were then given a video and asked questions about it.

As an ambassador, we are challenged to be creative in space science by being exemplary. Governors of our states, six of us, are to be made to speak to other children to go into space science technology.

I am thinking of becoming an architect or a medical doctor. I will want to visit the NASA centre in Houston some days.

Mr Ngor Barnabas Principal of Britarch Schools got special commendation too
Mr Ngor Barnabas Principal of Britarch Schools got special commendation too

Chidimma, displayed high level of knowledge in Space technology and other Science subjects, which is a reflection of the high academic strength of Britarch Schools, defeated contes­tants from other 12 schools that made it to the final in an intensive test of the competition.

Mrs Chichi Philips-Oriahi said she was so ecstatic, I felt like a very proud mother. Had we information, her parents would have been there. I was so proud of her. I gave her a treat and took her to a movie. Our hardwork as a school is paying off. We invest so much on the children that parents don’t understand.

The teacher is one who feels so proud that he feels the impact of his contribution to the life of the student. Mr Moses Mgukpan is an exceptional teacher. We entered the competition like a joke. We never took any stage of the process seriously. Chidinma effortlessly makes success out of anything she does.

Six of our students entered. She was not in the six that submitted. I had to go round to urge them. The reward system in Nigeria discourage very brilliant ones but in this case, it was a good case. We chose the top 20 and sent in. Our school stood out in the competition. I was so proud of her.

Miss Chidinma Agili...just brilliant and intelligent
Miss Chidinma Agili…just brilliant and intelligent

The award took place on the 27th May 2017 at the Obasanjo Space Centre here in Abuja. We were called on the eve of the event. She and a teacher got there and got details with the elements of surprise.

www.gongnews.net recalled that during the presenta­tion of awards to the winners in both the primary and secondary categories of the competition, the NASRDA’s Director General, Professor Seidu Mohammed, expressed confidence in the na­tion’s education sector going by the level of intellectual prowess displayed by the students.

Prof. Mohammed, who com­mended the schools that took part in the competition, said NASRDA remains committed to deepening Space technology knowledge across schools to raise the required number of space sci­entists, engineers and astronauts for the country.

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