Young Scientists Kenya unveils third edition of the National Science and Technology Exhibition

Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, The Embassy of Ireland and BLAZE by Safaricom has announced the third annual National Science and Technology Exhibition for secondary school students.

This year’s exhibition was held virtually from Tuesday December 8, with 64 projects by 120 students from 22 counties showcased on the YSK website. The exhibition was opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta, YSK’s Patron, and culminated in a virtual award ceremony on Friday December 11, 2020.

The exhibition follows a hugely successful online adaptation of YSK’s outreach and mentorship programme that reached over 31,000 students from all 47 counties.

(TOP: Levys Abedi Mushila – left -, a student at St. Kevin Secondary School in Lodwar, demonstrates his technology skills during Turkana County Safaricom BLAZE YSK outreach. Looking on is, from left: Irish Embassy- Deputy Head of Mission, Lisa Doherty, Blaze Mentor, Maxine Mokaya, Trocaire Country Director, Eithne Brennan, YSK Board Member, Michael Waiyaki  and the school Principal, Mr. Thomas Lokuruka).

Young Scientists Kenya is a unique platform for young people to demonstrate their innovation and showcase their scientific talents. The National Exhibition is part of YSK’s mandate to spur innovation among students in Kenya and complements the Ministry of Education’s annual Kenya Science and Engineering Fair (KSEF).

“The theme of this year’s exhibition is ‘Using STEM to Strengthen Our Resilience’. I look forward to an exciting pioneer virtual exhibition featuring imaginative projects from Kenya’s budding scientists,” said Dr. Kevit Desai, the PS, State Department of East African Community (EAC), Ministry of EAC and Chairperson of the YSK Board.

BLAZE by Safaricom, which has been a partner of YSK since 2017, sponsored this year’s edition to the tune of Kshs 1.9 million. BLAZE has also supported the exhibition with Kshs 650,000 worth of airtime and will award the first and second students in each category with a handset and headphones respectively.

“Safaricom is celebrating 20 years of transforming lives and by supporting YSK, we seek to inspire our young people to go beyond what is thought possible and come up with innovations that will solve everyday problems in a sustainable way,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.

The winning team will not only receive a cash award and the Young Scientists of the Year Trophy, but also get a chance to participate virtually in the BT-Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition from January 6 – 9, 2021. The runners up will receive the Young Scientists Kenya Runners Up trophy and a cash award.

“Young Scientists Ireland has been running for more than 50 years and has helped transform Ireland into a knowledge-based economy and a leader in innovation. We are delighted to share our experience with Kenya, help embed STEM skills in schools and contribute to building the country’s vibrant innovation culture,” said Fionnuala Quinlan, Ambassador of Ireland to Kenya.

In 2019, Iyad Taher and Tanvi Hirani from SCLP Samaj School emerged winners with a project on a Universal Healthcare system that sought to enable the government and relevant agencies solve health-related challenges in the country.

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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