Making Innovators (M.I) November/December edition officially kicked off today at University of Nairobi’s tech hub, C4DLab.

The two weeks innovation boot camp is aimed at inculcating and cultivating the innovation culture in children between six and fourteen years of age.

This edition comes after the success of the first and second editions which were held in April and August, 2019 respectively.

A one-week introductory bootcamp that covers the basics of challenge based learning will concurrently run with a two-week intermediate bootcamp for the innovators who have already gone through the introductory stage.

Speaking during the opening session, M.I project supervisor Enock Omwamba said that this third edition will be fun but also very demanding.

“This Making Innovators edition will require that every child be actively involved. We will have important lessons and of course a lot of fun. This week alone, we will have three field trips to enable us empathize with the target user of our product,” said Omwamba.

The kids were then clustered into two groups that enable them to synergize and come up with more innovative ideas, laced with neither bias nor prejudice.

Tower challenge

A tower built using drinking straws displayed during the opening day of the bootcamp

Evoking a dull mind is very necessary in any challenge based learning and to ensure this, the kids were given their first challenge which was to come up with the tallest tower that can hold an egg without tumbling down. The only materials the kids could use were drinking straws and masking tapes.

Nov/Dec Challenge intro

Having made a car without batteries, and which was able to move without being pushed or pulled in April, the kids then made a solar oven in August.

This third edition will now see the kids innovate a water purifier which will help solve the high rise in water borne diseases.

The challenge will involve visits to Nairobi river – the most polluted river in the country, a visit to Kibera slums – a densely populated informal settlement in Nairobi and the urban lower class believed to be the most affected by the polluted Nairobi river. The kids will also visit a water purification plant within the city.

Art introduced

A student and his mentor trying to beat time to come up with a beaded bracelet.

Having run two bootcamps previously, one of the challenges the mentors and organizers faced was concentration among the kids. To curb this, the team came up with artistic sessions to help the kids have more fun.

Facilitated by artist Peter Mungai, the kids made beaded bracelets, necklaces and party hats.

Art also helps them to think outside the box and this will be very critical during the ideation stage of Design Thinking challenge the kids will undertake.

It is golf at last

Project supervisor showing one of the kids how to hold a patter.

A game traditionally associated with retirees and the influential men and women in the society finally came to the doorsteps of these wonderful kids.

The kids got a six course taste of the indoor golf patter that not only marked the end of the days activity but also revitalized their ilk for this rare sport.

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