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Young Scientist Kenya: Strathmore hosts future innovators, emerging leaders and entrepreneurs

The 2019 YSK winners, Iyad Tahlar and Tanvi Hirani, students of SCLP Samaj School, speaking at the launch of the 2020 YSK bootcamp. The duo received scholarships to study at Strathmore University.

The Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) 2020 Business Boot Camp took place from 17th – 21st February 2020 at Strathmore University. The boot camp aimed to mentor and train the over-forty 2019 YSK winners on commercialization, enterprise development, IP and trademark through linkages to the public and private sector. The exhibits cut through Biology and Ecological sciences, Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Technology categories.

The young scientists had a week of opportunities with industry visits to the United Nations, Safaricom, IBM and Nairobi Garage as well as various sessions with industry leaders.

Present at the launch of the 2020 YSK bootcamp were Ireland’s ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan; Nadia Ahmed the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Affairs; Mumina Bonaya, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Education; Deputy Head of mission, French Embassy, Kim Ramoneda; and Safaricom Consumer Business Unit Director and Strathmore University Business School alumnus, Charles Wanjohi.

From Ireland to Kenya

Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) is an initiative of both the Ministry of Education and the Government of Ireland through its Embassy in Kenya whose sole purpose is to offer high school students a platform for transforming Kenya through Science, Technology and Innovation.

YSK is based on an Irish model that has contributed to Ireland’s economic and technology transformation for 50 years. The first National Science and Technology Exhibition took place in July 2018 at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), Nairobi.

Transforming Kenya through STEM

Speaking at the boot camp launch, Ambassador Fionnuala Quinlan stated such forums help prepare the youth for jobs in the future and encouraged the students into venture in careers affiliated with STEM. In addition, she urged the young scientists, “Ask questions, learn how to capitalize on your projects and support each other.”

Dr. Ogutu spoke of Strathmore’s eagerness to be involved with the YSK and encouraged the young scientists to seek solutions to problems that surround them. “Love problems – this is a different mindset – but they already exist. See how fast your imagination can offer solutions and present them to the world,” he said.

Echoing the remarks from the VCD, Cabinet Secretary of ICT, Kevin Desai said that through their curiosity and creativity the young scientists are continually assisting the country realize the Vision 2030. “You have the ability to promote solutions that permeate our borders.” He gave the example of Wincate Wawira and Linet Waithira of Siakago Girls Secondary (Embu County) for their water purification project that uses “Moringa oleifera seeds”.

Also present at the event were the 2019 YSK winners, Iyad Tahlar and Tanvi Hirani, students of SCLP Samaj School, for their innovation aimed at streamlining operations at government hospitals. The duo received scholarships to Strathmore University and participated in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition competition in Ireland earlier this year.


This article was written by Annete Karanja. 

If you have a story, kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu