National Science & Maths Quiz

National Science and Maths Quiz began in 1993 and it was then known as the Brillant Science and Mathematics Quiz.

How it all Begun

The idea for the production of a quiz programme aimed at encouraging the study of the sciences and mathematics was not mooted at a national science fair or conference. It all happened on the tennis court of the University of Ghana, Legon. Mr. Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu, then Managing Director of Primetime, was at the court to play the game after his own heart with his playmates, the late Professors Marian Ewurama Addy and Ebenezer Kweku Awotwe. Mr. Mensa-Bonsu was curious as to why birds could stand on a live electric wire without getting electrocuted, but human beings could not do same. From Prof. Awotwe’s explanation, Mr. Mensa-Bonsu got the idea of putting together a quiz programme on science and maths. That is where it all began in 1993. Since then, the National Science & Maths Quiz (NSMQ) has seen 20 exciting editions.

When the quiz started, it involved only 32 schools across the country, and these were divided into the Northern Sector and Southern Sector, with 16 schools per sector. Winners in both sectors were then brought to Accra for the national championship. This format was changed after some six years. Since then, schools drawn from all parts of Ghana meet in Accra to compete for the sought-after title. From 2000, the number of schools was increased to 40 and in 2013, the number of participating schools went up to 81, although 66 turned up for the competition. Thus, the participation format was changed to three schools competing per contest, instead of two, as had been the case since the programme’s inception. To give the programme a truly national character, the quiz has since 2014 involved 135 schools from all parts of Ghana.

Quiz Mistress

The first quiz mistress was the late Prof. Marian Ewurama Addy, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Ghana, Legon. She was quiz-mistress from 1993-2000.

Dr. Eureka Emefa Adomako, a Botanist at the University of Ghana, Legon, took over as quiz-mistress from 2001 to 2005, having been recommended by Prof. Addy. Dr. Adomako was a fantastic quiz mistress who took charge of the programme until she had to leave for postgraduate studies. Before leaving, just as Prof. Addy recommended her as quiz mistress, Dr. Adomako recommended that Dr. Kaufmann take over as quiz mistress.

In 2006, Dr. Elsie Effah Kaufmann, the Head of the Biomedical Engineering department, University of Ghana, Legon, took over as quiz mistress and keeps excelling in her role till date. Over the past ten years, she has succeeded in bringing her own style to the programme, occasionally injecting some humor into an otherwise formal programme. As the chairperson of the moderation team, Dr. Kaufmann is supported by a team of consultants made up of Prof. W.A. Asomaning, Dr. Ebenezer Owusu, Dr. Amos Kuditcher and Dr. Douglas Adu-Gyamfi, all of the University of Ghana, Legon.

Quiz Structure

The programme, involving 67 contests, is shown on GTV on Wednesdays at 4pm and on Saturdays at 11am. Currently, every contest is composed of four rounds with the following rules:

    Round 1 — The round of fundamental questions. Each contesting school receives 4 Biology, 4 chemistry, 4 Physics and 4 Mathematics questions, totaling 16 to answer. A wrongly answered question may be carried over as a bonus. Partial credit is sometimes possible.

Round 1 Now has a new round called the speed race

    Round 2 — Problem of the day! The contestants are required to solve a single questions within 3 minutes. This question is worth 10 points.
    Round 3 — True or False statements are given to the contestants in turns. The objective is to determine whether each statement is true or false. A correctly answered question fetches 2 points. A wrongly answered questions attracts a penalty of -1 point. One may decide not to answer a question, in which case it will be carried over as a bonus for the full benefit of the two points.
    Round 4 — Riddles; Clues are given to the contesting schools. The schools are to compete against each other to find the answers to the riddles. Getting the correct answer on the first clue fetches 5 points. On the second clue, 4 points. On the third or any other succeeding clue, 3 points. There are 4 riddles in all

Past Winners

A key element of the National Science & Maths Quiz is claiming the bragging rights as national champions of Science and Maths.

Years Winner First Runner Up Second Runner Up
2016 Adisadel College Opoku Ware School  Mfantsipim School
2015 Prempeh College Adisadel College  University Practice Secondary School
2014 Mfantsipim School Ghana Secondary Technical School

 St. Francis Xavier Jr. Seminary

2013 St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School  Mfantsiman Girls
2012 Ghana Secondary Technical School St. Francis Xavier Seminary  
2011 No Contest  No Contest  No Contest
2010 No Contest  No Contest  No Contest
2009 Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School Achimota School  Kumasi Anglican Secondary School
2008 Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School  Opoku Ware School  
2007 St. Augustine's College  Kumasi Anglican Secondary School  Accra Academy
2006 Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School  St. Peter's SHS  
2005 St. Peter's SHS  Opoku Ware School  
2004 Achimota School  St. Peter's SHS  Prempeh College
2003 Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School  Opoku Ware School  
2002 Opoku Ware School  St. Peter's SHS  
2001 Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary  Ghana Secondary Technical School  Chemu Senior High School
2000 St. Peter's SHS  Mfantsipim School  
1999 Mfantsipim School  Wesley Girls' High School  Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School
1998 Achimota School  St. Peter's SHS  
1997 Opoku Ware School  Prempeh College  
1996 Prempeh College  Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School  
1995 Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School  Opoku Ware School  
1994 Prempeh College  Achimota School  

Number of Times Schools Have Won This Competition

Name of School Number of Wins Years
Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School 5 1995, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009
Prempeh College 3 1994, 1996, 2015
Opoku Ware School 2 1997, 2002
Achimota School 2 1998, 2004
St. Peter's SHS 2 2000, 2005
Mfantsipim School 2 1999, 2014
Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary 1 2001
St. Augustine's College 1 2007
Ghana Secondary Technical School 1 2012
St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School 1 2013
Adisadel College 1 2016

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