Innovation is a driving force at SRA, and we believe that it’s important to recognise the creativity and and development of sustainable ideas developed in our science fairs.
Indeed, we are excited about the innovation emerging from our annual science fairs. In 2016, one of the science fair participants described the potential benefits of a windmill system to mitigate electricity problems in Sierra Leone. We are very happy to announce that this vision became reality earlier this year when a locally-made windmill was installed by the organisers of the Bo outreach programme in a rural area in Sierra Leone (see below). Both the country’s Ministry of Energy and the UNDP became involved and gave credit to the group, Lightsalone, for their innovation and contribution to spurring capacity building in Sierra Leone’s science sector. Moving forward, Lightsalone aims to provide this community with electricity to power homes, schools, hospitals, shops, and to enhance local private sector development.
Our 2017 science fair also led to another vibrant renewable electricity initiative. A team in Kenema, Sierra Leone, constructed a system to use solar power to provide electricity for five rural schools in the region (see below). Students can now study at night, strengthening opportunities for students outside of major urban areas to advance their science education.
SRA’s TV education initiative – designed to provide quality science education in outlying areas – also saw success. We presented our efforts at UNESCO conferences in China, Thailand, and France throughout 2017.