Uhuru opens national students science exhibition

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday opened this year’s four-day National Science and Technology Exhibition for secondary school students.

The exhibition will showcase 111 entries by 214 students from 30 counties and will be held amid tight Covid-19 protocols.

It is organised by Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the embassy of Ireland and Safaricom’s BLAZE.

President Kenyatta said science, technology, engineering and Mathematics are all key enablers of The Big 4 Agenda and the Kenya Vision 2030.

“I applaud the contribution of the Young Scientists Kenya to our development agenda, through the national competition and exhibition, and your outreach and mentorship activities,” said Mr Kenyatta.

This year’s exhibition has 214 students drawn from rural and urban public as well as private schools who will be presenting their projects. Five of the 65 participating schools are special needs schools, while 102 of the participants are girls and 94 are boys.

Ensure inclusivity

Mr Kenyatta urged YSK to ensure inclusivity in its programme.

The theme of this year’s exhibition is ‘Securing Our Future with STEM’.

YSK Executive Director Loise Kinyanjui said overall winners will take home Sh50,000 each, with runners-up taking home Sh40,000 and smartphones from Safaricom.

The overall winners will also receive scholarships from Strathmore University.

“We are pleased with the diversity of the projects received from across the country and I look forward to an exciting virtual exhibition that will showcase the talent and creativity of Kenya’s budding scientists,” Ms Kinyanjui said.

Four category awards will also be up for grabs, with winning students receiving Sh30,000 each while the first and second runners-up will receive Sh20,000 and Sh10,000 respectively.

BLAZE has provided a Sh9 million sponsorship as well as Sh750,000 worth of airtime towards the event.

BLAZE will also award the overall winners with smartphones, while students in second and third positions will each receive headphones.

President Kenyatta asked the Ministry of Education to widely publicise the winners of the last three competitions.

“Indeed, three of the 16 winning projects last year demonstrate the innovative and entrepreneurship capacity of our young people in Kenya runs deep,” he said.

The president directed all government agencies and departments to collaboratively ensure that YSK remains a stable and dynamic enabler of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning in Kenya.

The YSK exhibition was launched in 2018 and so far over 100,000 students from all 47 counties have been reached through its outreach programme.

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