Irish science competition takes root in Tanzania

2 November 2012

300 students and 100 teachers converged in Dar es Salam on Wednesday 24 October, from all over Tanzania, to compete in the first Tanzania Young Scientist competition.

teachers and students

This has been modelled on the Irish Young Scientist event co-founded by Dr Tony Scott 49 years ago, and was principally sponsored by Irish Aid and the Pearson Foundation.

The IOP, already active in Tanzania through the work of Joe Brock at its Morogoro Physics Centre, contributed to the event by the presentation of prizes, displaying a stand showcasing the IOP’s work at Morogoro and supplying a judge for the event. 

IOP Morogoro Teacher Training College
IOP Morogoro Teacher Training College

Laurie Mansfield, IOP’s coordinator for The Gambia assisted in the judging of all categories and in the selection of students Witness Shirima, Alexander Ngatuni and Irine Chuwa, with their teacher Felix Pius Puka, from Rau School in Kilimanjaro, and their project “Application of electromagnets in an electric bell”, for the best Physics project.

As in Dublin the event was open to the public and visited by students and teachers from the Dar es Salam area.

Children engaging in physics
The IOP stand proved very popular

Dr Scott, a key mover in helping to establish the competition, brought detailed knowledge of the competition’s aims and logistics.

He commented that he was "delighted to see the event take root in Tanzania. In Ireland we have seen the fruits of the competition over many decades and know that it is a vital element in encouraging young people to explore science at first hand, something which is essential for a developing country such as Tanzania."

Winners of the Tanzania Young Scientist competition
Winners of the Tanzania Young Scientist competition

He continued, "standing in the exhibition hall, if I closed my eyes, I might just have been in the RDS, such was the similarity of the enthusiasm and delight in science."

The overall winners of the Tanzanian competition will also be attending the BT Young Scientist event in Dublin in January 2013. 

For more information on the upcoming competition see http://btyoungscientist.com.