Series 8 – FORM ONE BOY IN NAVASCO, GHANA
Our Matron in Science Club (1972-1973); Mrs. Evie Kashnow Kingsley posted some photographs of 1972 First Science Fair in NAVASCO to Old NAVASCO Group.
In seeing the pictures, I became elated, agitated and extremely very happy because I was the President of the Science Club while she was our matron. In the picture I am sharing, I am the one sitting conspicuously on the workbench in the Chemistry laboratory in the first picture. Whereas, I am equally standing in front of the audience explaining the principles behind the missile type of rocket I made and launched successfully at Cape NAVASCO. The rocket flew away forever never to be spotted again on this surface of the earth. ‘Hmmmnmm.’
I would explain how I came about the manufacturing of a missile type of rocket briefly. As a science student, I took much interest in chemistry and its applications. This eventually led me to first read a Diploma in Science Technology at Yaba College of Tech. Lagos, Later B. Tech in Industrial Chemistry at the Federal University of Technology and finally a PGD in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Ibadan. In addition, I had a three year training by correspondence in writing school, London that lead to the award of a Diploma.
To go to the point. So, when it was time for us to select topics for research in preparation towards the first ever Science Fair in NAVASCO and when I chose the making of a rocket, my seniors and mates mocked me. “How could Oguns make a rocket” I smiled and I did not allow their negative remarks to dampen my enthusiasm and also not to affect me negatively. I told myself, the struggle must continue. I became determined, resolute and focused on my objective of making and launching of a rocket. When we approached our Headmaster; Mr. Collin G. MacDonald to be releasing the school bus to the Science Club every Wednesday to enable us travel to the Regional library in Bolgatanga a distance of about 20miles away after lunch, he willingly gave approval to our request. It was his approval that assisted us in several ways to achieve our goals.
Briefly, I read that the normal rocket is propelled with liquid oxygen but since I could not produce that in our laboratory, I resolved to produce gaseous oxygen for the same purpose. I set to work by converting a cylindrical light metal tube in form of a bicycle pump. Placed potassium chlorate and Manganese Dioxide as a catalyst and Magnesium ribbon was used to introduce flame into the tube to allow a chemical reaction to take place and eventually a production of oxygen. The rocket was erected at 45degres to the ground. When the flame got into the tube, an explosion occurred at a very terrific speed splashing out the smoke from the rear and rocket moved opposite to the direction of the heavy smoke. This obeyed Isaac Newton’s 3rd law of motion; “Action and Reaction Equal and Opposite. The whole school population rushed out to witness the earthquake explosion. The project was supervised by my chemistry master; Mr. Stocks (acid) and my matron; Evie Kashnow as she was called that time. The Headmaster; Mr. MacDonald also rushed to the scene.
On the actual day of Silence Fair, members displayed their projects for judgement by experts. What I did that fascinated others was that I drew a typical rocket which included the three stages by which a rocket must be shut in order to escape the earth gravity. That is the escape velocity. I also mentioned what command module was used for. My audience were astonished when I started to demonstrate the position of the Sun and other planetary system. I went further to explain light years that is the speed at time by which light travels to reach the earth from the Stars. I educated my audience on the first man to have landed on the moon; Neil Armstrong that landed at 02:56:15 GMT of 21st July, 1969. He was followed by Edwin Adrin who also landed from Lunar Module while Command module orbited above.
I also give credit to my club members, my matron, my project supervisor, my Headmaster and the Chinese and American books I used as references. I cannot recollect their tittles but the tittle of one of the books I was given as award for this feat was ‘The Men of Mathematics’. The book proved that the mathematicians that propounded and calculated various laws that made the rocket takes off, lands and others are never known but only the operators are popular throughout the world.
This project and others took us to intra-regional Science Fair in BOLICO and inter regional Science Fair at Tamale secondary in 1973 third term. I was placed third in NAVASCO but at the intra-regional, I became second and finally I became second again to a TAMASCAN that presented electronics project. In BOLGATANGA, the Regional commissioner; Colonel Miyinla was in attendance and was fascinated where he made a monetary donation to me for my exemplary project.
Lumumbatic Ibrahimah made an electric computer of questions and answers.
It is now 43years after the Science Fair. I thanked God that since then, I have been reading science fictions and science reality as my hobby. Name it, I have read much about Asteroids, comets, inter terrestrial bodies, aliens, UFOs, other galaxies, milky ways and a host of others which included the Nibiru and the end of the earth theory, the antichrist president, production of manna from heaven making use of an equipment made of radioactive material (by two British Scientists) attracting green algae into the equipment after treatment and concentration producing a continuous bar of meat coming out.
It was indeed NAVASCO that formed the initial background to my success in life by my own standard. It is indeed the greatest school.
I hope to write up to series 15 before Ramadan. Thank you, all NABIA.