[ December 5, 2019 by ysk 0 Comments ]

Abundance of raw talent evident as budding scientists get awards

SCLP Samaj School from Nairobi won this year’s Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) competition for their universal healthcare technology project, presented by students Iyad Anwar Tahlar and Tanvi Viyay Hirani. It uses technology to improve and solve health challenges in the country.

Deputy President William Ruto attended the award ceremony at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).


The students walked away with a Sh100,000 cheque, mobile phones from Safaricom, and will participate in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Ireland next January. They also received full scholarships to study at Strathmore University after completing secondary school.

The teacher in charge of the project received Sh20,000.

Sophia Ndunge of Daraja Secondary School in Laikipia County won the runners-up award with her homemade lift pump. She got a Sh80,000 cheque and a trip to France.

Her project was in the Chemistry, Physical and Mathematical Sciences category. Ndunge also received a mobile phone from Safaricom while her teacher received Sh15,000.

In the Social Behavioural Sciences category, the winners were Emily Ndani and June Mumbe of Matungulu Secondary School in Machakos County.

Rachael Wambui and Nalepo Mukami of St Mary’s Girls High School Igoji came second with their Re-using Plastic Spoons project, while Euphamia Adhiambo and Watiri Risper of Matuga Girls High School (Kwale County) won the third prize for their Visual vs Auditory Memory project.

In the Biological and Ecological Sciences category, Hesbon Muir and Micah Lokoropee of Thika High School for the Blind won the first prize for their Davihez System project.

Lucy Nzioki and James Mwangangi of Joytown Special School for the Physically Handicapped (Kiambu County) followed with their Extraction of limonene from orange peel project.


In third place were Wincate Wawira and Linet Waithira of Siakago Girls Secondary (Embu County) for their water purification using Moringa oleifera seeds project.

In the Chemical Physical Mathematical Sciences category, Joy Joan and Jennifer Kitsao of Njoro Girls High School (Nakuru County) came first with their carbon oxide (IV) electro-reduction project.

Collins Amiani and Elisha Ambani of Cardinal Otunga Girls High School Bungoma followed with a project involving maize cob charcoal to remove Pb+ and ions from water.

Aisha Ebrahim and Fatma Wolfgang of Coast Girls High School came third with their project on reusing of polythene to save aquatic life.

In the Technology category, Mugo David and Daniel Maithya of Machakos Boys High School led with their road-based electrical generator project.

They were followed by Vincent Onyango Otieno and Adhith Abraham Anil of Nova Pioneer Boys (Kiambu County) with their Intelcyfenseops project, while Akshar Patel and Shiv Patel of Kisumu Senior School came third with their pedal mechatronic milking machine.

Winners in every category also received a Sh60,000 cheque and a mobile phone from Safaricom.

The runners-up received a Sh40,000 cheque and headphones, while the third-ranked received a Sh30,000 cheque and earphones.

The teachers who supported the students received Sh10,000.


Special awards recognising excellence in agriculture, health, technology were also presented.

DP Ruto said schools must put more emphasis on science technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects.

“We must develop more science in our country if we want to achieve our development goals,” he said. There is a need to develop the capacity to deliver innovative ideas, he said, and added that students projects should be copyrighted.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said he will work with schools to ensure Stem subjects are not neglected.

Young Scientists Kenyachairman and Principal Secretary, Ministry of Education, State Department of Vocational and Technical Training Kevit Desai said 234 schools took part this year.

YSK organises the competition in partnership with Education ministry, the Embassy of Ireland and BLAZE by Safaricom.

Irish Ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan and Safaricom Chief Customer Officer, Sylvia Mulinge attended the ceremony.

Ms Mulinge said the firm is working with YSK to ease access to quality education and encourage the study of Stem subjects.

courtesy of nation media

[ December 5, 2019 by ysk 0 Comments ]

Technology, effective CBC implementation to spur economic growth – DP Ruto

The Deputy President said technology is a prime enabler of sustainable competitiveness, with the power to elevate the country to middle-income level.

Speaking during the Young Scientists Kenya Awards, ceremony, held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi, on Wednesday, the Deputy President asked Kenyans to support the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) if the country was to achieve its development goals.

Present were Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Principal Secretaries Kevit Desai (TVET), Colleta Suda (University Education and Reaserch), Belio Kipsang (Education), Head Of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Ireland Ambassador to Kenya Fionnuala Quinlan and Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.

Dr Ruto said the country has identified the gaps responsible for its failure to attain its technological needs citing the 8-4-4 system of education, a move, he added, has forced the Government to embrace CBC.

“I wish to appeal to all our stakeholders to work to together in ensuring successful implementation of CBC whose focus is more of science, innovation and technology as the only way to achieve our development as a country,” said Dr Ruto.

“This will ensure our education system responds to that of our development paradigm,” added the Deputy President.

He assured Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Magoha that the Government was committed and would do everything possible to ensure successful implementation of CBC.

“With no proper education and proper training, our Vision 2030 might just be the other way round, Vision 3020. Our education system should just be tandem of the requirements of where we want to go as a nation,” said Dr Ruto.

The Deputy President said investing more in science, technology and innovation remains key to socioeconomic development.

He said science was going to firmly rule the future, noting that the country should be ready to adopt emerging issues in the changing new world.

Dr Ruto said for the country to achieve its goal of becoming a middle-income state, more resources were being used for the development of science, technology and innovation.

“Because we must not only catch up, but also compete relentlessly with the best in the world, we have to scale up our engagement with the science, technology and innovation space, especially among our young generation,” said Dr Ruto.

He said science creates opportunities for societies in ways that no other endeavor can match.

He added: “We need more science in this country. We must develop a bigger interest in science courses to change the development trajectory of our country.”

Prof Magoha said the projects YSK support the governments Big 4 Agenda.

He explained that the YSK programmes will help researchers generate the best way to harness technology in the realization of food security through agriculture, universal healthcare and housing.

Prof. Magoha said that his Ministry and Blaze by Safaricom, are working together with the government of Ireland which formed YSK to inspire students to pursue Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses through outreach, linkages and extension programmes and a platform in which students will showcase their scientific research, technologies and innovations.

Dr Desai said the Government would continue to put more emphasis on the development of technology through the technical training institutes across the country.

“Investing in science and technology is fundamental to the development of innovations which is paramount to the country’s economic development and specifically to the attainment of the Big Four agenda,” said Dr Desai.

Quinlan said the origin of young scientists was her country, saying they were critical on the development of countries across the globe.

“The Government of Ireland through its embassy in Nairobi is committed to working with Kenya, private sector, and the community to ensure that there is improved quality of teaching science and technology in this country,” said Quinlan.

Mulinge said Safaricom would continue to support initiatives aimed at improving the quality of teaching sciences in the country.

[ December 5, 2019 by ysk 0 Comments ]

New competition targeting young scientists unveiled

The Government of Kenya has today launched Young Scientist Kenya (YSK) in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland and BLAZE youth platform by Safaricom.

YSK, a unique platform in East Africa for young people across Kenya to demonstrate and showcase their scientific talents, is based on the British Telecom Young Scientist and Technologist Exhibitions (BT – YTSE) of Ireland founded in the 1960s by Dr. Tony Scott and the late Fr. Tom Burke.

BLAZE by Safaricom will offer YSK support to mobilise and enroll students in Kenya for the pilot phase to be held in 10 counties over the next one year before it is rolled out as a national programme.

This will be in line with BLAZE movement’s goal of empowering Kenya’s youth. The youth product by Safaricom already has mentorship and boot camp programmes across the country.

“This platform will help us achieve BLAZE’s drive to inspire youth in following their passions and also change the perception among our young people that science, technology, engineering and math are tough. It goes right with our theme of toughness and G.R.I.T (greatness requires internal toughness),” said Charles Kare, Head of Segments – Safaricom.

The Ministry of Education has for the last 53 years coordinated the Secondary Schools Science Congress, now known as the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair (KSEF) as the only science co-curriculum activity for Kenyan schools in the country.

Shannon Auma (R) and Lydia Wanjiru from Pangani Girls High School explains how a solar powered brooder works to Charles Wanjohi, Head of Consumer Segments at Safaricom (L), Dr. Manu Chandaria (2ND L) and Robert Masese, acting Director General Basic Education (C) during the launch of Young Scientists at CEMASTEA center sponsored by Blaze and Irish Aid

“I’m very excited about this new initiative. Helping students to excel in science will directly impact on Kenya’s social and economic development. It will ultimately help young people to improve their skills, get jobs and contribute to achieving Vision 2030 targets,” said Dr. Fred Matiang’i, Cabinet Secretary Education

In order to leverage the efforts that have been inculcated through KSEF, the YSK model aims at complementing the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair, other inter-schools competitions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It will build upon and have formal links with the successful Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition which has been held in Ireland for the last 55 years.

“In Ireland, the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition has hugely contributed to the uptake of science in secondary schools and the quality of its teaching. I have no doubt that similar benefits will occur in Kenya as a result of the launch of YSK. Ireland remains committed to supporting this initiative to ensure its success,” said Dr. Vincent O’Neill, Irish Ambassador to Kenya.

YSK will advance the learning of science in secondary schools by providing key links between secondary schools and tertiary level institutions.

“I’m delighted to witness the expansion of the Young Scientists concept beyond Ireland to Kenya and Tanzania. I have every confidence that Young Scientists Kenya will assist in transforming Kenya and allow young people to positively contribute to social and economic development in the country,” said YSTE co – founder Professor John Tony Scott

The winners of the competition will be invited to engage with interested private sector companies and to participate in international science and technology events.

Supported by the Kenyan Government, BLAZE and the Irish Government, Young Scientists Kenya will be overseen by an independent Management Board and provide substantial rewards for students who win prizes in each of the competition categories

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