Vincent Lomor Esekon and Victor Ekai Eweet of St. Kelvin’s Secondary School in Turkana County have been crowned Young Scientists of the Year for the best innovation at the 6th edition of the Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition, which was held at the Edge Convention Centre in Nairobi as part of the Kenya Innovation Week.
The duo’s innovation, making of Avocado shoe polish, seeks to reduce the impact on the ecosystem compared to some synthetic polishes as Avocado-based polishes are usually biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
“Many synthetic polishes contain chemicals like petroleum distillates, silicone, and other solvents that can be harmful to the environment and human health. In line with the theme for this year’s exhibition “Developing Sustainable Solutions for Climate Change” we sought to find a solution to this problem. Avocado-based polish is often made from natural ingredients, reducing exposure to harmful chemicals found in some commercial shoe polishes,” said Vincent Lomor, YSK overall winner.
(TOP: Overall winners Victor Ekai Eweet – right – and Vincent Lomor Esekon – left – pose for a group photo at the 6th National Science and Technology Exhibition – Youth Scientists Event in the Technology Category at the Edge Convention Centre).
Both Lomor and Ekai will receive a full tertiary scholarship for STEM courses as well as get a chance to participate in the 2024 BT-Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition including in Dublin, Ireland.
In second place was Violet Chanya and Davis Mwenda of Edmund Rice Catholic Educational Centre from Kisumu County who made a mark with their innovation on making paper and its products from cow dung, which seeks to help the government curb the deforestation and find an alternative in the paper making industry.
Ben Roberts, the Young Scientists Kenya Board Chair said “This year, the exhibition saw 418 students, 230 girls and 188 boys, showcase 209 projects in four award areas. It was a culmination of activities including mentorship and engagement of over 6,000 students through outreach and coding programs and a bootcamp in August 2023 where 40 students were exposed to actualization and entrepreneurship training.”
In her remarks, the Irish Ambassador, Caitriona Ingoldsby said, “I am delighted to see a majority of female students participating in this year’s exhibition, aligning with the Embassy’s commitment to inspiring and empowering girls. We are committed to the principle of ‘Leaving No Learner Behind’ and continue to emphasize equal STEM opportunities for students regardless of gender, economic status, physical ability, or geographic location.”
Speaking at the award ceremony, Fawzia Ali, Chief Consumer Business Officer at Safaricom said “Through our Youth Platform, Safaricom Hook, we are keen to support and uplift the talents of young Kenyans. Our support for STEM programmes in the country perfectly aligns with our vision of becoming a purpose-led technology company by 2025.”
The National Science and Technology Exhibition is organized by Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, The Embassy of Ireland and Safaricom. It gives young students the opportunity to demonstrate that science, technology, and engineering are not only interesting and exciting, but also easy. It provides students with the opportunity to participate in scientific learning experiences away from the classroom and to explore the unlimited potential of science.