Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) will host the inaugural National Science and Technology Exhibition on 5-6 July at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. It will be in partnership with The Ministry of Education, The Embassy of Ireland and BLAZE by Safaricom. The theme for the event is ‘Making STEM Education Accessible To All’.
About 5,000 people are expected to attend the event, including 160 student exhibitors from 80 schools in 10 counties.
The efforts of YSK complement those of The Ministry of Education, which has for the last 53 years coordinated the Secondary Schools Science Congress, now known as the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair (KSEF). This fair had been the only science co-curriculum activity for Kenyan schools.
YSK strategically partnered with Safaricom’s youth network, BLAZE, so as to appeal to high school students and popularize STEM courses among this demographic.
“The National Exhibition will be powered by BLAZE, through a partnership with YSK that will help us achieve our vision of empowering youth by passions. We want to help change the perception that science, technology, engineering and math are tough, and make them more appealing to a generation that is benefitting greatly from mobile phones and the Internet, both of which are creations of science and technology,” said Charles Wanjohi, Head of Consumer Segments – Safaricom.
YSK will advance the learning of science in secondary schools by providing key links between them and tertiary level institutions. Additionally, the schools will build on their participation in the National Science and Technology Exhibition to create formal links with the BT-Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), which has been held in Ireland for the last 55 years.
BTYSTE has so far been successful in improving the uptake of science in secondary schools and the quality of its teaching in Ireland. Furthermore, it contributed to an increased uptake of STEM courses which helped attract foreign direct investment to Ireland. Accordingly, there is hope that YSK will have a similar impact in Kenya. This will significantly contribute to the realization of Vision 2030.
Other partners in this initiative include: The French Embassy, Institute of Physics (Ireland), Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), The National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), and Strathmore University among others.