A 11 years old Daniella Soje has won the star prize of $1000 at the just concluded World Child Innovation awards, which is the brainchild of Turkey’s Elvan Groups Founder, Mustafa Kadiroglu, an entrepreneur and Innovator.
Soje, a student of Dansol High School won the highest prize after her project, where she uses home-use materials such as toothpicks and matchsticks to design artwork, beats over 150 applications submitted across Nigeria.
Other winners are Idrees Najeer and Ujunwa Madu, who won $500 and $250 respectively.
While Idrees Najeer is a student of Glisten International Academy, Abuja and built a helicopter out of disused materials, Ujunwa Madu is a student of Spring of Life International School, Enugu State. She created a game an interactive game using a program called Scratch; a software program developed by MIT.
About 156 applicants submitted their work to the jury comprising of the Head of Department (HOD), Computer Science Department, University of Abuja, Dr. Aminat Showole; the Editor, TechEconomy.ng, Peter Oluka; the Export Manager of Africa at Elvan Group, Adem Karaduman and an IT Manager at SAP Ireland, Mr. Olajide Ademola Ajayi.
The Africa Code Week is an initiative launched in year 2015 by SAP that brings together hundreds of schools, teachers, governments, businesses and non-profit organisations with the aim to empower young people across Africa with digital literacy skills.
An Assistant Director at the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Kola Osundeyi, described the creative works submitted by kids all over Nigeria as a testament to the bright future that lies ahead of the country; a creative, knowledge-based economy principally driven by innovators.
Mr. Osundeyi who was speaking at Glisten International Academy, Abuja, venue of the event, said that the programme aligns with the Ministry’s desire to strengthen the education structure in the country and increase innovation and creativity among students.
“We will not rest on our oars, especially in enlightening the entire citizenry on the importance of STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education to our nation building. This Ministry is committed to projects that offer opportunities for young people to display entrepreneurial and strong innovative prowess that can be commercialized”, he said.
He extolled the organisers for fishing out the young people who submitted entries. “More importantly, these young people are going to proffer solutions to our local problems, so they deserve our supports”, the Assistant Director said.
On her part, the Chief Executive Officer, Glisten International Academy, Abuja- Nigeria, Samira Jibir, thanked the organisers- Coderina and Elvan- for choosing the school to host the event. “I must commend Coderina for the opportunity they are offering our kids and others in different schools. I am most happy that the Federal Ministry of Education has accepted to work with them to promote and grow students’ interest in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics, across schools.
She said: “To promote innovation, Glisten has project-based learning; we tweaked our curriculum to encourage trade (entrepreneurial) skills among the Students. That has allowed them to innovate.
“Again, we allow them to play. Like the little boy that received award today. It was on the course of playing that it occurred to him that he can create something out of the material he was using to play. ‘Playing’ is the best form for the child to learn. Our role is to mentor or coach them to fly”, she added.
To the Country Managing Director of Elvan Group (Nigeria), Mr. Henry Ibeh, the Company will continue to support such initiatives that will ensure Nigeria meets its developmental needs.
As a brand, he said, Elvan Group encourages young people to pursue problem solving approach to education.
Meanwhile, Coderina’s Relationships and Engagement Director Mr. Akinniyi Obaide, said “This awards ceremony actually showcase our commitment to inspire, motivate and reward creativity among African youths. We need to raise problem solvers and innovators.
“We look forward to more students coming forward with solutions that solve immediate challenges we face in the country. We appreciate partners and everyone who contributed towards the success of this year’s event- Elvan Group, Federal Ministry of Education, the Jury, Glisten International Academy, Abuja, the Coderina team. It was an amazing an eye-opening competition and shall surely get more exciting”, Obaide added.