Young Scientists Kenya national science and technology expo opens in Nairobi

The inaugural Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) National Science and Technology Exhibition, kicked off at the KICC. His excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta officiated the opening ceremony of the science fair that will end on Friday.

Young Scientists Kenya is a unique platform for young people to demonstrate their innovation and showcase their scientific talents. In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Embassy of Ireland and BLAZE by Safaricom among others, the programme was launched in July 2017 and is currently in its pilot phase, which has seen it work with 80 schools in 10 counties in Kenya.

(TOP: Students at the YSK expo).

Over 160 secondary school students are participating in the event, with 92 projects submitted in the country’s first Science and Technology exhibition in line with this year’s theme: “Making STEM Education Accessible to All.”

Approximately 5,000 guests from the public and private sectors, academia and the international community are attending the exhibition. President Uhuru in his opening remarks emphasized that the future of the country depends on the young innovators who are on their way to finding new solutions for Kenya’s pressing needs.

“The Young Scientists Kenya is a platform that I personally would like to see grow to become a truly national event involving more of our youth from across the entire country. I have told the YSK board that we will roll out nationally over the next two years so that every county will be invited to participate in this event. I want to express my thanks to Safaricom who led our sponsors from the private sector and indeed everyone else who gave what they had to make this a success.”

The YSK programme complements the ministry’s efforts to spur uptake of STEM among high school students, through the annual Kenya Science and Engineering Fair (KSEF), formerly known as the Secondary Schools Science Congress.

YSK has since March this year visited all 80 schools in the 10 pilot counties, engaging students and teachers and positioning STEM subjects as not only cool, but also central to day-to-day life.

The students are showcasing projects in four broad categories at the exhibition: Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Sciences; Ecological and Biological Sciences; Technology, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The award ceremony will be held on July 6, 2018 with the winners walking away with fully paid trips to Ireland to visit the Irish chapter of the Young Scientists initiative.

Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) is an exciting project that provides a platform for young secondary school students in Kenya to come together to investigate theories, discover new technologies and advance current knowledge through research and innovation.

YSK gives young students the opportunity to demonstrate that science, technology and engineering are not only interesting and exciting, but also easy. YSK provides students with the opportunity to participate in scientific learning experiences away from the classroom and to explore the unlimited potential of science.

The proposed model is based on the BT-Young Scientist and Technology Exhibitions (BT-YSTE) of Ireland which was started in the 1960’s by Dr. Tony Scott (who attended the YSK launch at CEMASTEA) and the late Fr. Tom Burke.  This initiative has been hugely successful and has directly contributed to Ireland’s success as a leading European knowledge economy.

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