As the show inches closer to the coveted prize of N12.5 million worth of scholarships, more contestants in the InterswitchSPAK 3.0 National Science Competition filed out to vie for a spot on the semi-finals stage of the competition. On December 11, 2021, the fifth episode of the TV show began with another set of 9 SuperSPAK hopefuls.
As usual, the programme kicked off with the introduction of a SPAK hero – this time it was Prof. Deji Akinwande, the renowned Electrical and Computer Engineer. The citation on the SPAK Hero serves as a motivation for the Spaksters and the hero’s achievements are expected to spark the genius and creativity in the minds of the young ones.
The audience-free studio spotlighted the Spaksters ready to take on questions that would guarantee their spots in the semi-finals rounds and eventually, the final stage of the competition. Winners of the competition get to share in the guaranteed sum of N12.5 million worth of scholarships.
The first-place winner gets N7.5 million worth of scholarship spread over 5 years with a monthly stipend, a brand-new laptop and the bragging rights as the best science student in Nigeria. The second-place winner gets N4 million worth of scholarships spread over 3 years, a laptop and a monthly stipend; while the third-place winner will receive a N1 million scholarship spread over 1 year, and a brand-new laptop.
In the sixth episode, the Foundation Round took off to a hobbled start. Interestingly, the SPAK Hero for this episode was the famous Faisal Abubakar Sani – the talented young lady who had 9 distinctions in the West Africa Secondary Certificate Examination. The Hero was a perfect fit as this set of SuperSPAKs had 3 girls competing.
And then the competition began with the contestants all appearing calm. On a lighter note, two of the contestants owned up to guessing the answers- in a game that requires knowledge, accuracy and precision, that was refreshing.
However, these Spaksters remained calm and continued to fight for their spots in the competition. And this was something that was observed in all four episodes under review. However, the Advanced Round unsettled the calm of the contestants, as they struggled to settle between ‘skip’ or ‘pass’ when they came across the tougher questions.
For the seventh episode, Ipin – one of the Spaksters – took us through some Japanese lessons picked from one of his favourite pastimes – watching anime, easing us into the Foundation Round. For the Advanced Round, the confidence of Evana – the only female contestant that scaled through – did not match her answers, as she scored the lowest, unfortunately.
Qudus’ brilliance, on the other hand, shone through, even though it was apparent that the pressure had mounted, due to the questions he got wrong. In the end, he topped the leaderboard in the Advanced Round, nudging him into the semi-finals with 180 points.
In the eighth episode, the mood mirrored that of the previous episodes: calm. The episode also revealed other extracurricular activities the SuperSPAKs enjoy, such as drawing and singing. Unfortunately, the SuperSPAKs are not being judged by their calm, rather they are judged on Speed, Precision, Accuracy and Knowledge in answering the questions. So, the SuperSPAKs with the least scores ended their journey in the competition at the foundation round.
In the Advanced Round, despite getting some questions wrong, Ayo held his own and tied with Leo to move to the semi-final stage with 140 points after leading his fellow Spaksters by 145 points in the Foundation round.
It is instructive to note how vital the InterswitchSPAK platform is in providing inspiration and leverage for these students; giving them a platform to display their brilliance while providing them with opportunities to enhance their capacity to be STEM students and inspire them to pursue STEM careers.
InterswitchSPAK 3.0 TV Show is still airing in earnest and can be viewed on DSTV Africa Magic Family Channel 154 and GOTV channel 2, every Saturday by 6:30 pm, and on Sunday on the AIT Network by 3:30 pm.
Individuals across all ages are encouraged to tune in. Students, parents and teachers are encouraged to take the front row in front of their Television sets for subsequent episodes of the InterswitchSPAK 3.0 TV Show.