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 brings together young researchers from secondary schools and intitutions 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 the project 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, » Melaine Nsaikila said.
« Africa is still lagging tremendously behind in terms of investments in science, technology as well as in education in Science, tecnology, 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 opened to students between the ages of 13 and 21 but ecourages a massive participation of young girls to ensure they have the opportunity to showcase their skills in these domain, the organisers said.
Thus the organisers have recomended 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 that was officially launched online on April 16 will 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 award 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 a million frnacc CFA at the last 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.