Ever seen young people being at the forefront of innovation? That is exactly what Project iSWEST has always been about: to impact the youth with practical education and skills needed for the challenge after school. Project iSWEST is organized by Nsesa Foundation: A team of passionate African changemakers nurturing other potential changemakers to make impact around them.
If you missed out on this year’s iteration, then you really missed. Imagine learning and topping up with “gob3” and pleeenty selfies – just a tip of the iceberg. But fret no more, the year is just around the corner.
Nsesa Foundation – Our Vision: To Create an “Innovation Revolution” in Africa
For us, “Innovation Revolution” is a state where young Africans are identifying problems and taking up challenges wherever they are and creating innovative solutions to those problems using Science and Technology.
I was privileged to be a part of the volunteers for this year’s project as a facilitator. This year saw the introduction of volunteers for the first time, and that made it even more successful. All the volunteers who came on board were amazing, and yes the students loved each session. Did I mention that they always stayed over to complete their coding lessons? Oh yes! One student even mentioned that he was so psyched that he was being taught programming for free! ?
Project iSWEST 2017 – A Rundown
This year’s project kicked off on August 7th and ended with a Pitch Day on August 26th. Check out the full pitch day photos from the official Project iSWEST twitter page. No worries, more photos are rolling down below. The project started off with some Intro to Programming (obviously ?). This session was handled by our guru Prince Steven Annor. It was an awesome time. It was actually my first time of hearing of Processing – a very cool IDE for writing code. So you see, we were there to learn something new. Fun fact: It works on phones too. Cool right? Yep ?
Project iSWEST 2017 – Sessions Covered
This year’s version saw students introduced to these topics: Innovation, Programming, Arduino and Entrepreneurship. So when I say it was an awesome experience, that’s the proof. The students actually did a very great job. Cramming all that info in 3 weeks, whew! That was some journey. But in the end, they did a great job and nailed it.
Project iSWEST 2017 – Pitch Day
So the pitch day was all bells and whistles. Students got ready to pitch their projects to judges, friends and family present. It was finally the day of reckoning!
The team that took the overall best price was Team Paragon. Their project was called Aquarius. The developed a device which allows greenhouse farmers to remotely monitor important soil parameters and automatically irrigate their crops, when moisture level goes low. The team will get active support from Nsesa Foundation – the main company behind Project iSWEST, to continue working on the project to market.
Fun Fact: Someone got a stage freight panic attack! ?
All too soon this year’s event has come to an end. Next promises come with a Big Bang! Until then, muse over these awesome photos from the event.
PS: Check out these awesome facilitators/voluteers on twitter.