Sabrina Chepkemoi and Marrieta Halima of St Thomas Girls Secondary School in Kilifi County have been crowned Young Scientists of the Year for the best innovation at the 2021 Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition.
Their innovation, Rapid Covix-Breathalyzer testing kit, seeks to help developing countries contain the spread of infectious viral diseases such as Ebola and COVID-19. The duo developed a locally assembled testing kit that can provide real-time results when testing for infectious diseases.
“When we got an opportunity to participate in the exhibition, we took up the challenge to address a key issue that many developing countries have faced since the outbreak of COVID-19, lack of sufficient test kits. This informed our decision to come up with the Rapid Covix-Breathalyzer Testing Kit. Beyond winning, we look forward to progressing our project and seeing it positively impact society,” said Sabrina Chepkemoi, YSK winner.
In addition to winning Ksh50,000 each, both Chepkemoi and Halima will receive a full scholarship at Strathmore University. They also win a smartphone each courtesy of BLAZE By Safaricom.
In second place were Collins Odhiambo and Faith Inzauli of Joyland Special School from Kisumu County. Their innovation, Motorcycle Fingerprint Access, seeks to curb the rising cases of motorcycle theft and accidents across the country. The two took home Ksh40,000 each and smartphones from BLAZE by Safaricom.
Other awards at the event included Special Awards, Individual Awards and Category Awards in four categories namely Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Technology; Biological and Ecological Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The National Science and Technology Exhibition is organized by Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, The Embassy of Ireland and BLAZE by Safaricom. This year, the exhibition attracted 111 entries by 214 students from 30 counties.
Young Scientists Kenya is a unique platform for young people to demonstrate their innovation and showcase their scientific talents. Since 2018, YSK has reached over 100,000 students from all 47 counties through its outreach programme.