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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Ugandan Ingenuity Triumphs: Rise and Shine Secondary School Wins Sahara STEAMers Regional Competition


In a groundbreaking display of innovation, Team Imperial Tech from Rise and Shine Secondary School in Ntinda, Uganda, has emerged as this year’s regional champions of the Sahara STEAMers Grand Demo Competition 2.0.

The competition, now in its second year, is organized by the Sahara Group Foundation and Asharami Uganda in collaboration with STEMCafe.

This year’s program, aimed at fostering innovation, creativity, and excellence in STEAM education among secondary school students in Africa, directly impacted over 200 students across the continent. The program, designed to provide participants access to deep-dive classroom learning, equipped the participating students with the practical knowledge and skills required to generate innovative solutions for real-world problems. Therefore, helping to create a pipeline of young, confident social innovators across Africa.

The top three teams to emerge from the respective National Demo Competitions in 2023 went on to represent their respective countries in the Grand Demo Day Competition. All twelve teams presented ingenious prototype designs of their solutions spanning various sectors, including home automation, agriculture, security, energy, health, and transportation before a panel of judges.

The Grand Demo Competition showdown was indeed a keenly contested competition among teams hailing from Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania. Emerging as this year’s regional champions was Team Imperial Tech, comprising the following students from Rise and Shine secondary school: Anyango Winnie, Bakunga Arafat, Male Raymond, Nalweyiso Kelva, and Nambi Tracy. They developed a Soil Moisture Detector, a farm-friendly solution aimed at preventing over-cultivation and promoting soil quality and increased productivity.

Securing the second and third positions were Team Smart Blind Walking Stick from St Georges Girls Secondary School, Nairobi, Kenya, and Team Young Genius from Oshodi High School, Lagos, Nigeria, respectively. Team Smart Blind Walking Stick developed an advanced solution to aid visually impaired individuals, utilizing Arduino, distance sensors, and a buzzer. While Team Young Genius engineered an innovative Domestic Drainage System to address the issue of drainage blockage in our society by automating the drainage cleaning process, thus keeping our environment pristine.

Participating groups from Tanzania include Team KATONE from Tambaza Secondary School with their Water Salinity and PH Monitoring solution; an advanced sensor that delivers precise real-time water level data. Team Young Girls from Kisutu Secondary School with their groundbreaking Water Salinity and pH Monitoring device. This innovative tool detects contaminants promptly, allowing for a timely response to safeguard water quality for both consumption and environmental preservation. And Team STF from Tambaza Secondary School with their Car Alcohol Detection System that effectively prevents drunk driving.

Speaking at the Grand Demo Competition, Ejiro Gray, Director of the Sahara Group Foundation, expressed immense delight at the students' commitment and determination throughout the stages of the program. Reflecting on the nine-month program, she highlighted its success in inspiring creativity and critical thinking skills among students, fostering a new wave of problem solvers for Africa.

Ejiro Gray commended the winning teams and urged all participants to apply the skills acquired from the program to the benefit of their communities and society at large. She extended her gratitude to the participating students, teachers, school administrators, as well as the implementing partner STEMCafe and other stakeholders for their invaluable contributions to the program's success.

Also speaking at the event, Moses Abimpeire, Business Development Manager at Asharami Uganda Limited, stated that “Programs like the Sahara STEAMers initiative that help to foster innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills among the youth are instrumental in shaping a brighter future for the country.” He affirmed Asharami's unwavering dedication to supporting such initiatives, recognizing them as catalysts for positive change and sustainable progress that align with the company's vision for a thriving and innovative Uganda.

As the curtains draw on the Sahara STEAMers Grand Demo Competition 2.0, the impact of this transformative initiative echoes beyond the competition arena. The inspiring innovation witnessed at this event underscores the program's pivotal role in nurturing a generation ready to tackle Africa's challenges with ingenuity and resilience. This accomplishment resonates not only as a testament to the potential within our youth but as a beacon illuminating the path towards a future where innovation thrives for the betterment of our communities and the continent at large.

The Sahara Group Foundation and Asharami Uganda remain steadfast in their commitment to advancing programs that propel Africa into a future characterized by innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. Through collaborative efforts and strategic initiatives like Sahara STEAMers, we will continue to help pave the way for a brighter tomorrow, where the brilliance of African youth shines as a driving force for positive change and progress.

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