At the just concluded Young Scientists (YSK) Exhibition by National Science & Technology at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), two young Kenyans were crowned Young Scientists of the Year 2019.
The two; Iyad Taher and Tanvi Hirani both 16 years and students of the Shree Kutchi Leva Patel Samaj schools, showcased what was termed ‘best innovation’ at the YSK Kenya 2019 Exhibition, bagging Ksh 100,000, a scholarship to Strathmore University, mobile phones from BLAZE, and a trip to Ireland to participate in the 2020 BT Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition.
The best innovation, Universal Healthcare System, seeks to enable the government and relevant agencies to solve health-related challenges affecting the country, established in line with the governments big four agenda on Healthcare.
The two were among 500 students from all the 47 counties who submitted 235 groundbreaking projects and showcased them at the five days YSK exhibition powered by BLAZE that ended last evening at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
The Universal Health Care innovation was seconded Sophia Ndunge and Brenda Nkara from Daraja Secondary School with their Homemade Lift pump innovation, which seeks to ease access to borehole water.
The first runners-up walked away with 80,000 shillings, mobile phones from BLAZE, and a fully paid trip to France.
Present at the closing ceremony of the exhibition, Deputy President William Ruto who noted that Kenya needs to increase intake of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical courses in order to realize the vision 2030.
“We have a disproportionate focus on the arts and social sciences which do not speak to the core of our development agenda. We must develop bigger interests in STEM courses, which provide critical skills sets, to change our development trajectory,” Deputy President William Ruto said.
Showcased ideas at the exhibition cut through Biology and Ecological sciences, Chemical, Physical and Mathematics Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Technology categories.
“As a company whose growth is driven by innovation, we are excited by the reception of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and we believe that with the right support, Kenya’s position as Africa’s innovation hub is guaranteed,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom, who was present.
During the opening of the exhibition President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Education and Industry, Trade, and Cooperatives to develop a framework to secure the Intellectual Property rights of students’ innovative ideas that were presented.
In its second year running, YSK aims to inspire students to take and pursue the STEM pathways through outreach, linkages, and extension programs, and showcase their innovations for further research and commercialization. The project has scaled to 47 counties up from 10 counties on its first year.