Article

Kenya Science Week: Science for Development and STEM for the 21st Century

02/09/2019
Nairobi, Kenya
04 - Quality Education
11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Description: 

Winners of Kenya National Science, Engineering and Technology Exhibition, for the 8th National Science Week. © UNESCO

Kenya National Science, Engineering and Technology Exhibition, for the 8th National Science Week.

UNESCO joined the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), the Irish Embassy and Ministry of Education who had organized the Young Scientists Kenya National Science, Engineering and Technology Exhibition, for the 8th National Science Week. The week’s event which was organized under the theme: “Science for Development”, was officially launched by the President of Kenya, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta who is also the Patron of the Young Scientists Kenya event. The exhibition brought together over 150 secondary school students from across the 47 counties.  The main objective of the Science week is to inspire students through outreach and linkages with the private sector and other key STEM stakeholders to embrace STEM and pursue the STEM pathways. The event gives the students the opportunity to showcase their scientific research, creativity and innovation in the fields of technology, biological, social as well as chemical, physics and mathematical sciences.

 UNESCO chaired a session on “Promoting STEM skills for job creation and economic empowerment” and a panel discussion on STEM for the 21st Century. Key issues discussed included; Mathematics as the connecting component, partnership within STEM education for enhancement of student involvement in STEM fields, the principle of “Leave No One Behind” and the importance of STEM for the realization of the aspirations of  Agenda 2063 of the African Union, the global Agenda 2030 and Kenya’s Big four Agenda for transformative and sustainable development. Alice Ochanda, the UNESCO Office STEM Education coordinator emphasized the importance of STEM for sustainable development, “STEM is the solution the 21st Century challenges and they cut across all the Sustainable Development Goals”.

The highlight of the Science Week celebrations was the Awards Ceremony where students with the best innovations in Technology, Social and Behavioral sciences, Biology and Ecological Sciences, Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences were awarded and recognized by the Deputy President of Kenya, William Ruto. Mr Ruto emphasized the importance and vital role STEM plays and its contribution towards the achievement of Agenda 2030 and Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda. He praised the organizers of the Young Scientists Kenya event, led by the Ambassador of Ireland, Ms. Fionnuala Quinlan and applauded the good work teachers are doing in preparing their students on the path to becoming future Kenyan Scientists.