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Meet Gibson Kawago – 1st Runner up Bits and Bytes STEM Club Ilboru

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  • Meet Gibson Kawago – 1st Runner up Bits and Bytes STEM Club Ilboru

ProjeKt Inspire through Inspire STEM supported the participation of its STEM Club Members who show outstanding workmanship in the STEM areas. one of the from STEM Club Ilboru won at the most recent Bits and Bytes event held in Dar es Salaam at Julius Nyerere Convention Center, here is his story.

My name is Gibson Dominicus Kawago. I was born on 18-02-1995 and raised in Mufindi District, Iringa. I attended Upendo Primary School at Kinyanambo B. During primary school years, I developed an interest in electronics and started collecting damaged radio motherboards and tried to make them work. Since then, I have always believed that I would be able to repair damaged electrical appliances.

In the year 2009, I joined Don Bosco Seminary Secondary School where I got the opportunity to further my passion in electronics with the help of my teachers who gave me unlimited access to the School Lab. This enabled me to do countless experiments involving electricity and science in general.

When I went home for my holidays, I volunteered to help some of the local electricians in fixing their clients’ appliances. I did not always succeed at first but with more experience and watching YouTube videos to understand the blueprints of some electric appliances, I got very efficient at the job.

In July 2014, I joined Ilboru High School for my A-Level education and got to meet other students who were very competent and experienced in experimental sciences. I had to work extra hard to keep up with them and still manage to do my own studying for the projects I had in mind.

January this year, when I was home for a holiday, I begged my mother to excuse me from farming activities so that I get to work on making a bulb that would be turned on by a clap. I failed and gave up on electronics but was encouraged by my mother to keep trying.

A week later my sister got married. My grandmother and other relatives who live in a rural village, that does not have access to electricity, asked me to record my sister’s wedding using my phone and take the video to them so that they get to watch the wedding. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the village, my phone died and they were unable to watch the video. I was frustrated and decided to make a solar phone charger once I went back home. I made the charger and tried it on a phone, it worked!

I went back to school and joined the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics club (STEM). Projeckt Inspire under the leadership of Dr. Lwidiko Muhamilawa visited my school and did a workshop on technology. They asked me to go to Dar es Salaam and participate in Bit and Bytes competition

I managed to get into the top five finalists and became the first runner-up. What made me unique among the finalists is the fact that I was a student while others were engineers and experts in the technology field and also because my idea was about solar energy unlike majority of other participants whose ideas were about website and application design.

I would like to thank my parents and teachers for their never-ending support and mentor-ship that helped me achieve this much. I would also like to thank Dr. Lwidiko Mhamilawa and Projekt Inspire for asking me to participate in the competition and the help and guidance they offered me throughout the competition.

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