Press Release: The 2018 STEM Prize Finalists Announced
For this 2018 Edition, 48 projects coming from 5 regions of Cameroon were received. Project applicants were from secondary schools and universities both public and private. Looking at the gender, 60% of applicants were female whereas 40% were male. The finalists of this edition come from two regions: Center and North-West. 81% of the finalists are female whereas 19% are male.
On Thursday November 15, 2018 at 1:00pm at the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation, evaluation of STEM Prize projects came to an end. This happened during a working session that saw the presence of three (3) evaluators non-affiliated to the Foundation and two (2) evaluators working for the Foundation. Prior to that meeting, each evaluator was charged to come out with a list of top 10 projects from which the finalists (top 5) would be chosen. All projects were given codes and each examiner strictly followed the evaluation criteria provided by the Foundation. This helped to avoid bias and made the evaluation process objective.
Here are the 2018 winning projects (in alphabetic order):
Fighting Deforestation by Substituting Wood with Mini Biogas Plants in Restaurants by 2019 in Kumbo, Northwest Region of Cameroon
Deforestation, which is the felling of trees to satisfy a diversity of human wants, is becoming alarming in Bui division leading to unbearable consequences. The cut trees are used in nearly all construction works one can think of and also burnt as fuel for heating or cooking. A rapid survey conducted in the major hotspots of Kumbo Central indicates that 22 out of 26 (84.6%) restaurants solely depend on fuel wood, estimated at some 20tons of logs a week. Experts say this could equal 20 full-grown timbers. This implies that within a year at least 1000 mature timbers are felled for commercial restauration services alone; this without a commensurate replanting. This is evaluated to pose tremendous negative impacts on the ecosystem and climate change such as soil exposure, erosion and degradation, ozone layer depletion and global warming, species extinction, etc. Apart from these, fuel wood energy is unclean as it emits smoke to the environment noted to be carcinogenic. Therefore, if the felling of trees goes unchecked this way, serious consequences will sooner or later befall all forms of life on earth, including ours.
To mitigate this phenomenon, our team set out to determine means of substituting the fuel wood energy with a cleaner, more sustainable, affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly alternative for restaurants. Biogas energy was found to be the most suitable. The biogas project will have as goal to fight deforestation and obnoxious smokes by equipping 6 heavy wood-consuming restaurants within the city of Kumbo with functional mini biogas plants by 2019. This project is quite suitable and sustainable given the abundance and availability of raw materials (feedstock) which is biodegradable homemade or city waste, and the rudimentary skills needed to operate it. Again, the project does not pose any health or environmental hazards of prime concern. We hope that the realization of this project will enable a more sustainable management of forest wood resources, mitigate climate change and environmental pollution, improve hygiene and sanitation, offer clean and renewable energy to the community, and even improve crop quantity and quality within the city of Kumbo. This falls in line with the development plan of our country (Vision 2035) set by the government for Cameroon to be an emerging economy by 2035. In addition, this biogas project will be contributing directly towards at least 2 of 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) which are: ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages (UN SDG 3), and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (UN SDG 7), among others.
HEMO (Android Mobile App)
Nowadays in Cameroon so many deaths are registered per year. Approximately 35% of these deaths are due to lack of blood donors. Sometimes these people die because they need blood transfusion and blood banks tend to keep the available blood for important personalities and claim that the banks are empty. This is unfair because every life is important.
HEMO is a mobile app that was developed with the aim of solving this problem, by facilitating the search of compatible blood donors. It provides a list of registered donors with their blood groups and locations. We also provide a sensitization page on the importance of knowing your blood group and donating blood.
With HEMO donate blood and save lives.
The Catalytic dry reforming of plastic waste to biofuel
To cope with the increasing amount of plastics polluting our environment, we have developed a method that transforms the toxic plastic waste into something useful that is fuel. Basically, this method reacts on the different types of plastics found in our surroundings with CO2 in the presence of a catalyst to produce gas which is converted by fischer-tropisch synthesis to fuel. This method is environmentally friendly and it reduces plastic pollution and reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Q.I.S E-learning (Mobile App)
The 21st century is fast evolving and we have realized that nowadays students love learning digitally. Also many students are not willing to ask questions when they are stuck while others complain that they need more explanation and more exercises. In addition to this Cameroon is actually facing a crisis for over two years now. As a result students are forced to stay at home and are deprived of education. There is also an important portion of the population that is willing to go to school but is not convenient, either because they are busy or too old, to sit in a regular classroom.
QIS E-Learning is an innovative idea initiated by young girls who decided to contribute to the improvement of this situation. It is a mobile app which provides better explanation and to all secondary school courses and provides test for individual evaluation. It provides a question and answer series for each lesson and Past Questions for all Middle and High school general exams in Cameroon. To ease all of this work we provide chat forums between students and teachers to overcome any challenges faced during the study.
Learning has no limit. With QIS E-learning learn better from the comfort of your home.
Mediquick: Mobile Application To Ease Access To Healthcare Information.
MediQuick is a mobile app designed to ease access to healthcare information. In the Cameroon context, MediQuick tries to solve three major problems, which are: Difficulties to book appointment due to the lack of information (location, contact, specializations) about health care centers; Lack of knowledge about health tips and First aid tips and Difficulties to receive trusted recommendations/assistance for basic cases.
We try to solve these major problems by providing three main solutions that are: Provision of necessary info about Healthcare center by proximity and specialty, with ability to book appointment; Provision of Health Tips and A System to get Doctor’s assistance.
This mobile application provides a Unique Value Propositionbybringing health to the patient pocket. This because many health cases do not require the necessity to be in hospital, or will not have required if the patient was assisted early. Many patients fail to reach the right health center on time because of lack of information.
MediQuick then provide the exact, most explicit and trustful information, in the suitable form through the suitable canal in a timely manner, so that anyone, even if he or she is considered as “illiterate”, can navigate it. We target anyonewith access to a mobile phone with internet, either personal or familial, since good Health is a basic need to every human being.
About The STEM Prize
The STEM Prize was established to encourage young Cameroonians and Africans, especially girls and young women to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This competition brings together young scholars from both secondary and tertiary schools, between the ages of 13 and 21, to design projects that have the greatest potential of positively changing their communities. A total of 5 million FCFA will support winning projects. The Awards ceremony will take place on 8 December 2018 in Yaounde.