Two Form Four students at the St Mary’s Kamba Secondary School in Kanduyi, Bungoma County, are the 2021 Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) National Science and Technology Exhibition, Health Category award winners.
Valerie Wanjala and Claire Wesonga won the award for the most innovative project in health, after they presented an idea on a reversible male family planning pill from Mondia Whitei, commonly referred to as ‘Mkombero’ and another plant known as ‘Justica Genderusa’.
Ezekiel Murani, who teaches biology and chemistry at the remote school, was their patron in the project. He said the work of Justica Genderusa was to cause infertility in the male rabbits, while Mkombero’s role was to reverse the infertility.
“We extracted liquids from the plants and injected male rabbits separately. Justica Genderusa causes infertility for a certain period of time. Mondia Whytei was then used to reverse the infertility caused in the same male rabbit,” said the teacher.
“The rabbits injected by Justica Genderusa did not make the female rabbits pregnant,” added Murani. “But after injecting them with Mkombero, they made the female rabbits pregnant.”
The project took them almost a year at a school that does not have a laboratory or a library. “We have reared about 15 rabbits in the school which aided us in the project,” said Murani.
The students, Wanjala and Wesonga, appreciated their teacher Mr Murani and Principal Ann Nyongesa for holding their hands throughout the project cycle. “I encourage other students to work hard so as to succeed in school. I aspire to be a doctor in the future,” said Wesonga Claire.
The Principal thanked the students for putting St Mary’s Kamba on the map, requesting well-wishers and the government to join hands and help improve the school infrastructure.
The students were awarded a trophy, a certificate and handed Sh5, 000 each by the organizers.
The school Board of Management Chair, Chris Murai called on the society to embrace innovative children.
He challenged leaders in Bungoma County to take note of such children in local schools and give them the necessary help. “We must do something to them, recognize and appreciate them fully,” he added.
Mr Murai said the Competency Based Curriculum is the way to go as it has been structured to remove focus from academic results of children only but instead trace what more a child can do.
By Dishon Amanya