As Irish students prepare to battle it out for the coveted BT Young Scientist Award 2016, we were delighted to welcome Edwin Luguku and John Method, the overall winners of the 2015 Young Scientists Tanzania (YST) competition, to Tyndall National Institute.
Edwin and John, who attend the Mzumbe Secondary School in Morogoro, won the award for their project titled "The effects of plastic bags on Morogoro". Their project was judged to be the best of 130 science projects presented at the fourth annual Young Scientists Tanzania competition in Dar-es-Salaam.
The Tanzanian event has strong links to Ireland; it is partially funded by Irish Aid and was first initiated by Joseph Clowry while working as an Education Officer with the Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium at NUI-Maynooth.
Edwin and John, along with their science teacher, Mr Mganga Suka and YST executive director, Dr Kamugisha Gozibert, were welcomed to Tyndall by Dr Lee Carroll, a researcher in the Photonics Packaging Group, and head of the YST Chemical, Physical and Mathematical judging panel.
While at Tyndall, Edwin and John presented the results of their winning project to 30 students from Cork Educate Together and toured our Cleanroom facilities. They also met with the Tyndall MakerSpace team who are developing a science-mentoring network to connect PhD and MSc students in Ireland with high-school students and teachers in Tanzania using satellite broadband and Skype. Dr Donagh O'Mahony also presented them with a Citizen Solar Science kit, developed by Dr O'Mahony, to bring back to their school to measure the efficiency of solar-power in the Morogoro region.
Over the next three days, Edwin and John will present their project and findings at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin. If you are attending, then please pay them a visit and say "Karibuni!" (Welcome in Kiswahili).
You can find out more about Youg Scientists Tanzania at http://www.youngscientists.co.tz