Two students from Kanga High School in Migori County have been honoured for becoming the overall winners in the coveted Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) Competition currently ongoing in Kenya’s Secondary Schools.
Messrs. Keith Brian,17, and Maxwel Okoth, 17, all in form three were presented with certificates and trophies by Principal Secretary (PS) for State Department of East Africa Community (EAC) Dr. Kevit Desai for their excellent project exhibited during the 3rd Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology exhibition in December 2020.
Dr. Desai who is the chairman of YSK said in Migori that the two had become role models to many young learners on the sphere of science, which is a key driver for sustainable economic development, attainment of Vision 2030 and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.
While awarding the two winners at their school yesterday, the PS noted that the award would go a long way in inspiring other students to embrace science and pursue it through outreaches, linkages and extension programmes to better their knowledge in science.
“Among the key objectives of this country is to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as core subjects taught in schools and also as one of the pathways in the new curriculum with a view to promoting sustainable development,” Dr. Desai said.
This route, he said, includes the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair (KSEF) model, now the premier national science event for secondary schools that was introduced in 2017, building on a hugely successful initiative in Ireland.
Kenya, through the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the government of Ireland and with support from BLAZE by Safaricom and other partners, launched Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) to encourage secondary school students to become interested in, and excel at science by providing a platform for young people to demonstrate their capacity for innovation, and showcase their scientific talents.
Participating students showcase their talents in four categories; Physical, Mathematics and Chemical Sciences, Technology, Ecology and Biological Sciences, and Social and Behavioral sciences from where one overall project winner and runners up are picked.
Following the successful YSK pilot phase in 2017/2018 and building on the commitment of President Uhuru Kenyatta to be the Chief Patron for the programme, the YSK board approved plans for the programme to be rolled out nationally in 2019.
Dr. Desai said that today, the programme has been expanded from the initial 10 counties to all 47 counties, reaching a total of 235 secondary schools.
Approximately 5,000 students have participated in the national competition to date and the best presented their research during the successive exhibitions.
On their part, Brian and Okoth said that a strong passion for science drove them into working hard to make innovations that led to their excellent performance.