IOP backs nascent physicists at Young Scientists Tanzania

17 August 2015

The Institute of Physics (IOP) sponsored a prize at this year’s Young Scientists Tanzania (YST) event and presented the award to the winners at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam on 6 August.

IOP backs nascent physicists at Young Scientists Tanzania

Now in its fourth year, YST brings together school students from across Tanzania to compete for several prizes including an overall award and category awards in one of four areas. The IOP awarded a prize in the chemical, physical and mathematical sciences category, which was presented by the IOP’s head of international, Tajinder Panesor.

The winning students, Kevin James Alex and Adil Abdallah Salum from Loyola High School, Dar es Salaam, (pictured left and right, with Panesor) received a trophy and certificate for their project on microplastics in drinking water.

A former president of Tanzania, Alhaj Ali Hassan Mwinyi, attended the ceremony and announced the overall winners, Edwin Luguku and John Method from Mzumbe Secondary School, Morogoro, whose prize will include a trip to Ireland in January to attend the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The annual event in Dublin was the inspiration and model for the Tanzanian exhibition, and colleagues from both countries worked closely together to launch the pilot event for YST. It began with just four schools, but has now grown and this year almost 120 projects were accepted to take part in the competition.

Among the judges was IOP Council member Prof. Kevin McGuigan. The IOP also had a stand at the exhibition, managed by Obeid Sitta, teaching director and logistics organiser at the IOP’s Practical Physics Centre in Morogoro Tanzania, and his assistant Josephat Shirima.

Panesor said: “We were delighted to take part in this event, which has inspired so many children from so many schools across Tanzania to be involved in finding scientific solutions to everyday challenges. Tanzania is a country of interest to us in the IOP as part of our capacity building support in developing countries.” In the longer term, it is hoped that the concept of YST can be extended to some neighbouring countries and developed into an east Africa-wide event, he said.

During their visit, Panesor and McGuigan also held a meeting with the head of physics at the University of Dar es Salaam, Najat Mohammed, and her two colleagues.