Young scientists on a mission

Wednesday August 14 2019

Editha Philipo and Nasra Bakari (left) as

Editha Philipo and Nasra Bakari (left) as overall winners at Young Scientist Exhibition . PHOTO I HELLEN NACHILONGO 

Dar es Salaam. Two young scientists from Chief Dodo Secondary School in Manyara are expected to represent Tanzania at the International Eskom Expo Young Scientists competition in Johannesburg, South Africa October this year.

Ms Editha Philipo and Ms Nasra Bakari who were recently announced the overall winners at the Young Scientist Exhibition (YST) 2019 after project emerged winner after they presented their project a titled “is Kivumabi( ocimum canums) a solution for bee keepers?

They presented their project during a two days exhibition that was held between August 1- 2 at the exhibition themed “using science and technology to transform Tanzania,” which brought 140 young scientists from secondary schools across mainland and Zanzibar to showcase their science projects.

The aim was to find practical solutions for development challenges in health, agriculture and food security, communications and transportation, safety, education, energy, environment and social problems.

Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Dr Joyce Ndalichako said it was time for girls to work hard and participate more in technology oriented projects to address solutions to improve some challenges that most communities.

She said the exhibition was an excellent platform to enable students especially girls to be great scientists because it encourage them to embrace use of local technology.

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Ms Ndalichako explained that the government was ready to support any efforts from stakeholders especially projects that intend to develop skills of young people because if youth are technologically advanced they could help the government attain industrialization agenda adding that science and technology was the tool to modern development.

“I would like to affirm the government commitment to continue collaboration with YST and other supporters to nurture science culture among the students especially the girls, “she said.

Ms Philipo J, form three student explained that they managed to emerge winners because they worked hard and followed teacher’s instructions to ensure they come up with the best project.

She urged students who participated in the exhibition not give up on science subjects because science could not only enable youth venture in technology sector but, can also to create employment opportunities to youth.

“We are happy that emerged winners of this exhibition, we promise that we are going to represent our country well,” she said.

Ms Bakari, a form four student, said they decided to come up with Kivumbasi solution because most beekeepers in their community had low honey production because they were depending mostly for rainy season waiting for plants become flowering.

“Using Kivumbasi tree is cheaper than beewax because it is the simplest way of attracting bees to enter the beehives at any time.

She stressed that their aim of the experiment focused to use kivumbasi tree so as to help bee keepers learn the simplest simple method to attract more bees to enter the beehives in short period of time instead of wanting for flowery season.

She noted that each beehives cost between Sh160, 000 to 100,000f while a bundle of five leaves of kivumbasi can be obtained free.

According to her, the kivumbasi tree also reduce the cost of buying beeswax due to the fact that it is expensive compared to kivumbasi leaves because they are locally available and natural method which Increases bees in beehives.

In Tanzania kivumbasi tree ls mostly found in all regions. Its common behavior is to produce good smell especial day and night when it is in flowery stage.

“Around our school there are many kivumbasi trees which excited us to research on the use its leaves and flowers.”

However were applied on sample of five beehives that shows a wonderful success of attracting bees within three weeks instead of using beeswax which attract bees for long period of time such as two months.

Some of the secondary schools that participated in the exhibition include Mtwara girls, Feza boys, Songe girls, Iboru, Pandahill Loreto girls, Marian boys, Tanga technical, Umoja, Tabora boys and Kibiti.

The title of the project they presented include factors for deaf students dropping science subjects, mosquito repelling color, altitudes of albinos in Manyara, is vegetarian diet killing, are used brazier causing women cancer , Sports Extra, Dimba Mwananachi Unknown Cause of Cancer and Local Beer for the development of agriculture and not for alcoholism.

YST board chairman Mr Yunus Mgaya noted that adoption of local technology and involving youth in science can be the best solution to enable the community to improve their agribusiness, livestock, communication and health.

According to him, every developed country around the globe have progressed science because they invent their own technology and apply them.

“YST has inspired many young people in the country to engage in science and innovation. This exhibition is another good opportunity for secondary school students to demonstrate their talents in addressing development challenges, “he said.

Mr Mgaya therefore, requested all stakeholders to continue supporting the young scientists as they strive to develop their scientific potentials.

Apart from that, noted the exhibition was an excellent opportunity for teachers, students, science stakeholders and the public to see and appreciate the scientific ingenuity inquisitiveness of the young people as they present scientific projects addressing social-economic changes.

The projects were mainly focused on finding practical solution to development challenges in health, agriculture and food security, communications and transportation safety, energy and environment, education, social relations and social problems.

“Young Scientist Tanzania YST co-founder Mr Gozbert Kamugisha said agriculture, poultry and sanitation can only be achieved if youth are involved in various research to come up with best research on local technology.

“Agribusiness, livestock, and sanitation can be improved by use of local technology….we cannot develop or solve our problems by using foreign technology, “he said.

Science plays a vital role in addressing today’s most pressing development challenges, from improving food security, health and access to clean energy and water, to combat the effects of climate change and understanding how population shifts affects our production and consumption patterns.

Shell exploration and production limited senior social performance Ms Msomisi Mbenna said they have been collaborating with YST for the past six years because their company work in the similar field.

“We give priority to YST because it encourage young scientists in schools to participate in areas of science, “she said.

She stressed that the skills of science, engineers, educators and leaders were essential to meeting the world’s demand for energy, whilst reducing carbon emissions.

Shell’s stem support not only to inspire more young people to pursue careers in science and engineering, but, to equip them with skill that will prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

The Human Development Innovation Fund, Country Director Joseph Manirakiza said “as a key player within the Tanzania innovation ecosystem, HDIF had been supporting YST for four years in arrow. We do so because we believe that innovation is a cornerstone for any country economic development.”

He said by nurturing the young minds from as early as secondary schools and below, HDIF believe that it cultivates and grows the innovation culture in Tanzania.

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