Turkana Teens Shine as Young Scientists of the Year

Vincent Lomor Esekon and Victor Ekai Eweet from St. Kelvin’s Secondary School in Turkana County were declared Young Scientists of the Year at the 6th Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition in Nairobi, held during Kenya Innovation Week. Their innovation, an Avocado shoe polish, aims to mitigate environmental impact unlike some synthetic polishes, offering a biodegradable, eco-friendly alternative. Lomor, the YSK overall winner, highlighted the environmental and health hazards of conventional polishes containing chemicals like petroleum distillates and silicone. This innovation aligns with the exhibition’s theme, “Developing Sustainable Solutions for Climate Change”.

Lomor and Ekai were awarded full scholarships for STEM courses and an invitation to the 2024 BT-Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition in Dublin, Ireland. Runners-up Violet Chanya and Davis Mwenda, from Edmund Rice Catholic Educational Centre in Kisumu County, impressed with their cow dung-based paper products, promoting deforestation alternatives and innovation in paper manufacturing.

Overall winners [R] Victor Ekai Eweet and [L] Vincent Lomor Esekon pose for a group photo at the 6th National Science and Technology Exhibition -Youth Scientists Event in the Technology Category at the Edge Convention Centre.

Ben Roberts, Chair of the Young Scientists Kenya Board, noted the participation of 418 students [230 girls and 188 boys] showcasing 209 projects. The exhibition included mentorship, outreach, coding programs, and a bootcamp for 40 students focused on project actualization and entrepreneurship.

The Irish Ambassador, Caitriona Ingoldsby, praised the majority female participation, reflecting the Embassy’s efforts in empowering girls and ensuring equal STEM opportunities for all, irrespective of gender, economic status, or location. Fawzia Ali, Chief Consumer Business Officer at Safaricom, emphasized their support for STEM through the Safaricom Hook youth platform, aligning with Safaricom’s vision of becoming a purpose-led technology company by 2025.

Organized by Young Scientists Kenya, the Ministry of Education, The Embassy of Ireland, and Safaricom, the National Science and Technology Exhibition encourages student participation in science, technology, and engineering, demonstrating their relevance and accessibility. It provides a platform for students to engage in scientific activities beyond the classroom, exploring the vast potential of science.

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