STEM prize for scientific innovation launched

The second edition of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, STEM, Prize has been launched in Yaounde.
The competition launched by the Denis and Lenora Foundation seeks to encourage young Cameroonians and Africans, especially young girls to map out a career in the STEM that brings together young researchers from secondary schools and institutions with the potential to conceive and build life-changing projects in the society.
Presenting the project to the media on Friday, Melaine Nsaikila, Senior Policy Analyst at the Denis and Lenora Foundation said it seeks to contribute in innovation and technology so as to meet up with the ‘2035 Vision.’
“We have decided to initiate this to encourage young Cameroonians, specifically women, to participate in both studies and in terms of project proposals and implementation in STEM,” Nsaikila noted.
“Africa is still lagging tremendously behind in terms of investments in science, technology as well as in education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so the STEM prize is all about the process to demystify science and come up with solutions to their problems.”
The competition is open to students between the ages of 13 and 21 but encourages a massive participation of young girls to ensure that they have the opportunity to showcase their skills in this domain, the organizers said.
Thus the organizers have recommended the presence of at least a girl in each group of five that will submit their project but hope to see more girls-dominated groups.
The competition
The competition that was officially launched online on April 16, shall receive applications from students all over the country and Africa till July 30, when a panel of judges will shortlist the best projects.
The top five winners would be awarded prizes worth over Five million francs CFA during a gala night on October 26.
It was equally an opportunity for former laureates of the competition to present their projects and inspire would-be competitors on what their projects could look like at this year’s edition.
That was the case with Mimfolo Cédric, student of Lycée Nzamangoué in the Centre Region who was part of a group of five that won the second prize worth FCFA 1 million at the last competition through the solar and renewable energy project.
“We proposed a project to build a locally-made solar kit and solar lamps that will help electrify rural communities that do not have access to electricity. The money won from the competition was used to buy materials which we used to build the kit while part was used to develop other renewable energy projects,” the student said.
By Francis Ajumane

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