President Uhuru Kenyatta was impressed on Thursday by the bright students who participated in the Young Scientists Kenya exhibition.
Uhuru, who launched the event at the KICC in Nairobi, noted that young innovators hold Kenya’s future as their ideas will address some of the country’s pressing concerns.
“The future is here today and we must support it,” he said of the mentorship and education programme.
He said the government will continue to improve the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in all learning institutions.
Uhuru further noted that the Big Four Agenda will rely heavily on new ideas. Doctors, for example, use technology for remote diagnostic capabilities that multiply reach by each one, he said.
The agenda concerns affordable housing, universal healthcare, food security and manufacturing.
The President said the government will embrace new surveillance technologies for security agencies to effectively fight crime.
Uhuru directed that the youth event be rolled out nationally in the next one year as young innovators are in all parts of the country,
He also challenged the students to emulate distinguished scientists in Kenya, an example being Calestous Juma.
Ireland Ambassador Vincent O’Neil said the winners will participate in his county’s contests. He promised support for the Kenyan programme to become the most successful for scientists and other innovators.
YSK Chairman Kevit Desai said they will ensure the success of the platform which is open to the public.
‘IDEAS FOR UHURU TO CONSIDER’
Ninety two projects were exhibited at the first ever YSK exhibition with more than 160 secondary school students participating.
Mugoiri Girls’ High School students, Fridah Cichuhi and Eunice Mwangi, came up with a system to keep vehicles from emitting harmful gases using cigarette filters.
The students noted that air pollution contributes to global warming which in turn causes droughts and famines.
Kiangunyi Secondary School students came up with a homemade stethoscope from recyclable plastic following the collapse of their schoolmate. They say the stethoscope can be used as a first aid kid to check the heart rate of people in distress.
St Paul Secondary School students, John Kilipan and Francis Njoroge, invented a marijuana testing kit, inspired by the need to end its use in schools.
Arya Vedic Secondary students came up with a way of constructions roads from plastic waste. They noted that reliable, durable and cheaper alternatives are necessary in Kenya.
Laiser Hill students, Livia Ombuna and Ann Naisoi, createde biodegradable bags from starch. They said innovation is required in the field after the ban of plastic bags.
Maseno School students invented an app and gadget called I-Sight to help the blind navigate their way. The gadget detects what is on roads and the colour of the traffic lights and sends data, which is communicated verbally, to the phone.
Kisumu Senior Academy students came up with mouse called Kadunda Foot to help the physically disabled use computers. A small gadget is placed on any type of shoe and acts as a mouse.
Nakeel Boys’ High School students invented a system for extracting diesel from plastics to save the environment.
Njiiri students, Edwin Mwangi and Mark Thiong’o invented a game called ICO which helps the public know more about taxation and how deductions are made.
Students of Lukenya School in Machakos County came up with an app called School Both to ease communication between students and parents in case of emergencies. Rape and arson are some of the situations covered by their app, which is in use at their school.
St Joseph High School students came up with a system to detect overloading in vehicles and on motorcycles They noted that overloading is one of the main causes of accidents.
Ken Kiogora of Alliance High said the students were happy that they were given an opportunity to showcase their talent and look into ways of improving the country.
Loreto school student, Linet Kabiru, who came up with a system for making organic fertiliser from water hyacinth, urged the President to seriously consider their proposals.
“Please call us the leaders of today, not tomorrow,” she told him.
The award ceremony will take place on Friday, with winners walking away with fully paid trips to Ireland to visit the Irish chapter of the Young Scientists initiative.