Students from Igbobi College, Lagos, Nigeria, have emerged as regional winners of the Sahara Foundation Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) programme aimed at giving young African inventors a platform to develop their creativity.
The Sahara Foundation STEAMers’ regional competition featured the top three teams that emerged from the national Demo Day competitions that held in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda.
The regional finalists presented prototype designs of their solutions targeting several sectors including home automation, agriculture, security, energy, health and transportation.
The students displayed a profound understanding of embedded systems, additive manufacturing and the ability to use human-centred design in creating sustainable solutions to prevalent social problems around them.
The programme gave 150 students access to deep-dive classroom learning and practical sessions.
The classroom sessions were conducted by the programme’s implementing partner, STEMCafe, a non-linear learning centre, as well as mentors from Sahara Foundation Volunteer Group.
Known as ‘The Watchmen’, the winning group from Igbobi College comprised Njubigbo Onyeka, Ayo’ Mofe Moses, Ayilo John and Maduanusi Chigozirim.
The students produced a remarkable ‘Silent Digital Alarming Device’, which they named ‘The Watchman.’ The device can help combat home and commercial burglary, as well as tackle unauthorized access into designated buildings and kidnappings in the society.
The students explained that the device enhances security through detection of crime at the time where the crime begins and alerts authorized persons through a registered device making them aware that a crime is in progress.
The device can also send a phone call to the police station registered on the device.
According to the team:
“The device is ready for mass production, and we are confident that it would help increase security and lead to a safer community for all.”
The Watchmen beat eight other groups to emerge overall winner. The team from St. Peters, Kampala, Uganda emerged first runner-up with their ‘Plant Watering System’ invention, while the team from Olympic High School, Nairobi, Kenya emerged second runner-up with their ‘Distance Sensor Alarm’ invention.
The Managing Director, Sahara Group, Emmanuel Magani, said:
“The Sahara Foundation STEAMers programme has again reinforced the ingenuity of Africa’s young minds and to see such array of top-quality inventions targeting key issues in Africa, developed by secondary students, validates Sahara’s commitment to investing in Africa’s next generation of inventors.”
The Founder, STEMCafe, Bosun Tijani, said:
“The opportunity to expose more young people to STEM through projects that solve real life problems drives our goal of raising a new generation of changemakers across Africa.”
He said the organisation’s partnership with Sahara Foundation had paved the way for taking the “desire to dream” to more young Africans.
The Director, Sahara Foundation, Pearl Uzokwe, commended all participants for being “worthy ambassadors of Africa” and a source of hope for a “sustainably prosperous Africa in which no one will be left behind”.
She said the goal of Sahara Foundations STEAMers initiative was to identify, train, and empower the next generation of Africa’s smart technologists, creative thinkers and confident problem solvers.
Uzokwe thanked the programme’s implementing partner, STEMCafe, the principals and management of all participating schools, as well as other stakeholders that contributed to the success of this year’s programme.
Sahara Foundation is the corporate responsibility vehicle of energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group.