Science and technology are becoming the most pervasive forces in our global economy and modern society. In other words, the growth and ultimately the success of any economy in these modern times depend heavily on their investment and improvement in the fields of science and technology. As our society becomes increasingly environmentally aware, health conscious, and reliant on technology, it is normal it becomes more dependent on students pursuing studies in STEM.
A few years ago, the Government of Cameroon (GoC) launched its strategy to make Cameroon an emerging economy by the year 2035. For this vision to be realised, Cameroon needs to produce more professionals in the field of STEM by increasing the number of youths studying courses in STEM from 10% to at least 30%.
Hence the aim of the STEM Prize Competition is to raise awareness on the importance of STEM to an economy and encourage more youths to get into careers in STEM, consequently, building a foundation for Cameroon’s 2035 vision to be achieved.
The STEM Prize competition will consider applications from teams/groups of 2-5 members age between 13 and 21 years old. Each team will design a project that has the greatest potential of positively improving their communities. The best projects will be chosen and the teams will be invited to spend 3 days at the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation where they will participate in several educational trainings. Prizes will be given out to the successful teams at the end of the competition.
To be eligible for The STEM Prize Competition, applicants must be between the ages of 13 and 21 years old and be citizens of CEMAC countries (Cameroon, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea). An application must be made by a team or group of at least 2 people or at most 5 people and at least 1 girl in the group.
Project proposals will follow the outline below:
- Names and Community(ies) of applicants
- Title of project
- Identification and elaboration of community problem
- Proposed solution and illicit method of solving problem based on recommendations
- Budget Planning
- Partners and timeframe of project realisation
- Evaluation of project.
5,000,000 FCFA (approximately $10,000 US Dollars) will be awarded in prizes and will be distributed as follows:
- Winning team: 1,500,000 FCFA (≈$2,400 USD)
- 1stRunner Up: 1,000,000 FCFA (≈ $1,600 USD)
- 2ndRunner Up: 750,000 FCFA (≈ $1,200 USD)
- Other individual prizes: 1,750,000 FCFA (≈ $ 2,800 USD)
The Foundation will work with all winning teams to get their projects up and running.
- 14th May 2019: Press Conference and Official Launch of the STEM PRIZE 2019
- 15thMay 2019: Online Launch of the STEM PRIZE 2019 and Opening of the online applications.
- 15thMay 2019 – 27thSept 2019: Receiving applications, rigorous and massive communication using talks, online posts and flyers to student bodies and target groups.
- 30th 2019: Deadline for the submission of projects
- 1stOct 2019 – 4thOct 2019: Compilation of submitted applications
- 7thOct 2019 – 11th Oct 2019: Pre-evaluation of submitted applications
- 14thOct 2019 – 18thOct 2019: Review and shortlisting of top projects
- 21stOct 2019 – 25thOct 2019: Official invitations sent to the top teams
- 28thOct 2019 – 1stNov 2019: Preparation of the award ceremony
- 26thNov 2019: Arrival of the STEM finalists
- 27hNov 2019 – 29th Nov 2019: 3 days training event for shortlisted teams and site visits
- 30th Nov 2019: Happy Ending Awards Ceremony.
- By accepting The STEM Prize, eventual winners will be requested to play an active role in promoting their awards and the Prize in general. By accepting the Prize, the winners would be accepting to dedicate time to be Ambassadors of STEM education.
- The Foundation reserves the right to cancel the Prize at any time, if a selected applicant is found ineligible or does not fulfill the conditions laid down for the Prize. Any misrepresentation of any kind will lead to the removal from the competition.
- All applicants are required to present original ideas and failure to disclose ownership may lead to disqualification. In case the innovation has been undertaken in collaboration with others, the names and contacts of the other collaborators need to be specified.
- The decision of The STEM Prize selection panel shall be final.
- To avoid conflict of interest, The STEM Prize selection panel members and technical validation experts shall not be eligible to submit an entry.
- The STEM Prize organizing team will ensure the strict protection of Intellectual Property rights, and everyone involved in the STEM Prize selection process will be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
- The STEM Prize organizing team might contact the applicants after the competition to propose various options including networking and business opportunities.