A team of WISER girls has been named one of only 12 awardees in the 2018 Innovate Kenya competition. Innovate Kenya is a nationwide contest hosted by Global Minimum that invites student teams to propose innovative ideas that solve tangible problems in their communities. The WISER team is being honored for their project, “The Sound Economy Device,” which ” harnesses sound energy from the environment and converts it to electrical energy.”
“We want to target rural areas where problems exist with access to electricity,” says Linner Adhiambo, one of the four team members that designed the Sound Economy Device. “But our vision is wider now, because we can’t assume everyone in urban areas has electricity either. Lots of people could use this project.”
The team was recognized for their vision and innovation at a ceremony in Nairobi earlier this month. Out of the more than 300 youth that submitted project ideas, only 12 teams were chosen for this honor. Perhaps even more exciting is the fact that the WISER girls made up one of only two teams chosen from a rural county.
“We came from applicants across all of Kenya,” said Linah Samra, a WISER team member. “We felt like champions, just to be here.”
All finalist teams were invited to a week-long innovation camp in Nairobi, where they were given the opportunity to participate in design-thinking workshops, leadership training, and hands-on guidance for the development of each team’s project idea. Throughout the week, each team was given 50,000 Kenyan Shillings ($500 USD) to build a prototype of their proposed innovation.
“We’ve been learning from different people, and we’ve been encouraged to continue this project long-term, to see where it can go,” said Idda Anyango, a WISER team member.
The WISER team concluded their week-long camp by exhibiting their prototype for the Sound Economy Device at an event in downtown Nairobi. All four girls involved in the creation of this project are 2018 WISER graduates, and will be looking to join universities across Kenya starting in 2019. Over the next few months, the team will continue to discuss the future of the project and determine how the team may collaborate across their respective campuses. However, one thing is certain at this stage – these young women have demonstrated passion, innovation, and problem-solving ability that make their futures look exceedingly bright.
If these young WISER alumni are any indication, Kenya’s future looks bright as well.
To learn more about Global Minimum and the 2018 Innovate Kenya competition, click here to see the announcement of the 12 finalist teams.