4 Nigerian Pupils To Represent Africa At International Competition In US
Nigeria is about to get the attention of the world again as a team of four Nigerian pupils are presently representing Africa at an international innovation challenge in the United States.
The White Sands School, Lekki, Lagos has presented four JSS2 pupils to compete with their peers from other parts of the world to develop a marketable and innovative idea that can solve a real-world problem by using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles.
The four pupils, William Afolabi, Mordi Menashi, Famobiwo Olubusuyi and Ugbo Osagumwenro applied this principle to design an application that qualifies them for the final stage of the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge in Florida.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse, the pupils and their coach, Mr. Mathew Omotoso spoke about the app and how it can help build a relationship between tobacco farmers and companies and at the same time encourage a positive and beneficial use of tobacco.
Since their task is to design a product that can solve a problem of smoke in the world, in line with the Smoke-Free World campaign, the pupils are expected to come up with an initiative that will simultaneously solve economic challenges for tobacco farmers and the health hazards of cigarettes.
Speaking about the app they designed for this purpose, the pupils’ coach, Omotoso said, ”these boys have come up with a fantastic product, and this product is called Virtual Farm, which will be presented at the finale of the competition in Florida.”
One of the students, Modi, said ”Virtual Farm is an app we designed to help tobacco farmers to increase their income by linking them to the organizations that plan to use tobacco for positive things”
Apart from linking farmers directly to companies, Osagumwenro, another member of the team that will represent Africa in the US said ”the app can also teach farmers about the negative effects of tobacco and as well inform them about other products tobacco can be used for apart from cigarettes”
What of farmers who do not have smartphones? The schoolboys have taken care of a challenge like this and here is how their Virtual Farm application can address it.
”What is unique about this app is that it can work on every mobile platform. So for farmers that are not using smartphones, we can reach out to them through DSSD code. Most banks are using this code for services like sending money. But in our own case, we will use the codes to ensure every farmer is able to use this app”.
While designing a product to solve a real-world problem is a commendable effort from four Junior Secondary School students, It is also noteworthy that other schools can learn from White Sands Schools by preparing their pupils to participate in internationally recognized competitions like Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge.
This is perhaps the reason why Mordi said he wished all Nigerian schools knew about the challenge so that other pupils can also have the chance to participate in an extraordinary competition like this.