Nairobi News


Students’ smart ballot box voted best innovation at young scientists’ exhibition

Two Kenyan students have been awarded after innovating a Smart Fingerprint Ballot Box aimed at solving the issue of stray ballots during elections.

The two students – Diana Wambugha and Brian Mwaghogho – from Chala Secondary School in Taita Taveta have each won Sh50,000, a smartphone and a trip to Ireland to attend a Tech and Innovation expo.

The two have been crowned the Young Scientists of the Year for the best innovation at the 2022 Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition held at Sarit Expo Centre Westland in Nairobi.

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The colour-fitted innovation machine is designed to detect the colour of the ballot paper and direct it to the correct ballot box. It is also designed to be only opened by the presiding officer biometrically using fingerprints.

Diana Wambugha and Brian Mwaghogho, from Chala Secondary School in Taita Taveta, display their trophies after emerging tops at the 2022 Young Scientists Kenya National Science and Technology Exhibition. PHOTO | WINNIE ONYANDO

“My colleague and I are really happy for this win. It took us a lot of energy, commitment and research to come up with this project that seeks to solve the issue of stray ballot papers. Our machine offers a secure alternative to existing ballot boxes by using biometrics and colour sensors,” said Brian Mwaghogho.

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Bravin Wetsenga Emala and Isaac Abuti of Friends School Kamusinga in Kakamega County, emerged second with their innovation, a smart and modernized solar greenhouse. They were awarded a cash prize of Sh40,000 each.

On top of the cash prizes, winners from various categories also received smartphone and headphones awards worth Sh250,000 from BLAZE by Safaricom.

Young Scientists Kenya is a platform for young people to demonstrate their innovation and showcase their scientific talents. Since 2018, YSK has reached over 200,000 students from over 700 schools across all 47 counties through its outreach programme.

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