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If you’re a teacher or school proprietor, there’s an opportunity open for pupils at your school to get involved in top-level innovative work. The Lagos Education Technology Fair offers them the chance to participate in a Design Thinking Competition, which will see them come up with creative solutions to pressing real-world problems.

The Design Thinking Competition is aimed at encouraging school children to hone their research and critical thinking skills- qualities that are increasingly sought after in today’s world. The organizers of the contest, Brainiac STEM and Robotics, say they are eager to foster a new culture of inquisitiveness and problem-solving in young Nigerians, as the country marches into an ever more challenging future.

Applications from intending participants are already being accepted. Pupils interested in entering for it are expected to do so as a team of no more than three and should be led by a coach (this role may be filled by a member of their academic staff).

The Competition’s Subject Matter

The contest is divided into two categories, according to education levels and problems laid out for the contestants to solve:

  • Primary Schools: Competitors from primary schools will be providing a smart water solution to lacking cities. They will be thinking up new innovative ways to deal with hypothetical but possibly imminent water shortages in any of these four cities: Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, and Port Harcourt. The organizers say that this is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which has the availability of safe drinking water as its subject.
  • Secondary Schools: Secondary school teams will be working on devising a 21st century school with an innovative curriculum. They will be designing a model educational institution which has the characteristics that’ll attract students to study in it. Their model school should be fit for such cities as Aba or Maiduguri, urban centres in regions with low or declining rates of education.

Registration and Selection Process

Contestants should register as part of a school on the Edtech fair’s website. After being screened, successful applicants will be received into a 90-day incubator, where they’ll be mentored, learn to grapple with practical design issues, and build prototypes for specific challenges.

The Hackathon

Besides the Design Thinking Competition, there will also be a Hackathon, in which undergraduate software developers will be presenting educational mobile apps they’ve built that could make learning easier for children with autism. Teams getting involved with this competition stand the chance to win ₦100,000 if theirs is the winning app.

The teams at the hackathon will be judged based on their problem-solving ability, critical thinking, cognitive flexibility, people management skills, and creativity skills.

The venue for the grand finale of the design thinking competition and hackathon will be the Lagos Edtech Fair, which will take place at the Muson Center, Onikan, Lagos; only selected teams will be allowed to attend.

These competitions are part of a wider event, which will also feature panel sessions with discussants representing sections of Nigeria’s emerging edutech space and advocates of a greater emphasis on STEM education in the country, as well as self-improvement training for teachers and dozens of free innovation shows.

The Lagos Education Technology Fair will be held on the 28th and 29th of June, 2019. Visit the event’s website to find out more.

Featured image source: Edtech Africa 360

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This article was first published on 11th March 2019


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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