The Inaugural National demo day of the Catch Them Young and Curious – Sahara STEAMers Program, facilitated by Sahara Foundation, has produced three winners in Kenya, following a keen competition that featured impressive inventions by young students.
The program is designed to create an opportunity for 150 participants across three countries; Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda to access deep-dive learning experience, practical classroom, and world-class labs leading them on the journey of becoming technical problem solvers.
Sahara Foundation, the corporate responsibility vehicle of leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, had last month hosted the Nigerian edition that saw the participation of Igbobi College, Yaba and Oshodi Junior High School, Lagos, compete to represent the nation in the regional demo grand final event.
The Sahara STEAMers program encourages young African students to explore ways of proffering solutions to global issues through interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
The Kenya edition which held at ihub, Nairobi, was hosted by Asharami Synergy Kenya, a Sahara Group company. Participants had the opportunity to showcase their inventions proving that engagement in STEMM can help produce sustainable solutions, especially in developing countries.
Sultan Kirigha, STEM CAFÉ Educator said: “The students have worked hard, and their presentations were remarkable. Pulling off such presentations after six months of training is something worthy of comment.” Kirigha said: “The judges focused on Energy solutions that transform and shape the communities.”
Asharami Synergy Country Manager Debola Adesanya said, “I have learned a lot from the amazing students we have had the privilege of hosting today. You have outstanding projects, and we look forward to seeing more inventions from you and ultimately explore how Sahara Foundation will continue to support these innovative solutions to become drivers of sustainable development in Kenya.”
Adesanya added that Asharami Synergy remained committed to facilitating access to clean energy in Kenya in line with Sahara Group’s leading role in promoting energy transition in Africa.
Lavinah Gonah, Operations Manager, Asharami Synergy, said the company has since inception facilitated the supply of 2,040,000 Metric Tonnes of Petroleum products into Kenya as a foremost oil marketing company. “With innovation at the heart of Asharami’s operations, powering creative programs which support innovative thinking and solve prevalent challenges in our society is a commitment Asharami Synergy is dedicated to advancing,” she said.
One of the projects presented by St. Nicholas Senior School is the Automated home cleaner designed to help people perform house choirs. The device which mops seamlessly, is fitted with a vacuum that operates as an automatic floor cleaner. It also has a music button and another button to light up the light-emitting diode (LED) connected to it while in use. “This will be the best cleaning little guy ever created. The cleaning bot has an option of three names just to make it seem like it is part of the family. The names are Chiku or Boti. The innovation which is aimed at solving Global Warming challenges using wind power, will also reduce pollution and radiation,” explained students from St. Nicholas.
Another group produced an Automated Irrigation System which detects the level of water in the soil and sends a buzzing alarm that alerts the farmer to turn the water on or off.
Learners were assessed on how they explored simulations and hands-on learning of physical computing concepts. It emerged that the contestants were able to identify a problem in their community and delivered projects to proffer solutions to the identified problem within their communities.
The competition featured five groups each from Olympic High school and St Nicholas school. The students’ inventions targeted several sectors including Agriculture, Energy, Home Automation, Transport, and Security. The top three (3) groups that emerged winners of the competition will now go on to represent Kenya in the grand regional demo day event against the winners from Nigeria and Uganda.