Sabrina Chepkemoi and Marrieta Halima of St. Thomas Girls Secondary School in Kilifi County have been crowned the 2021 Young Scientists of the Year. The two students received the recognition for the best innovation at the 2021 Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition.

Their innovation, Rapid Covix-Breathalyzer testing kit, seeks to help developing countries contain the spread of infectious viral diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19. The duo developed a locally assembled testing kit that can provide real-time results when testing for infectious diseases.

As a reward for their win, the two students will each receive Ksh. 50,000 each and a full scholarship at Strathmore University. They also received a smartphone each courtesy of BLAZE by Safaricom.

In second place were Collins Odhiambo and Faith Inzauli of Joyland Special School from Kisumu County. Their innovation, Motorcycle Fingerprint Access, seeks to curb the rising cases of motorcycle theft and accidents across the country. They both won Ksh. 40,000 each and smartphones from BLAZE by Safaricom.

Other awards at the event included Special Awards, Individual Awards and Category Awards in four categories namely Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Technology, Biological and Ecological Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

“When we got an opportunity to participate in the exhibition, we took up the challenge to address a key issue that many developing countries have faced since the outbreak of COVID-19, lack of sufficient test kits. This informed our decision to come up with the Rapid Covix-Breathalyzer Testing Kit. Beyond winning, we look forward to progressing our project and seeing it positively impact society,” said Sabrina Chepkemoi, YSK winner.

This year’s YSK National Science and Technology Exhibition attracted 111 entries by 214 students from 30 counties.