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Nigerian public school pupils win global innovation competition – awarded Over $500,000 worth of undergraduate scholarships and prizes

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L-R: Ojih Favour, Idris Elizabeth, Akalugwu Chibuzor & Eghahi Anthony


While 2020 has been a challenging year for schools, the economy and businesses generally, Favour, Elizabeth, Chibuzor, and Anthony from Team Recycle Rex, students of Government Science and Technical College, Garki Abuja have sure made their mark this year. These four public school pupils have set the pace by winning the Power Pitch Award in the Global Conrad Challenge Innovation Competition and multiple undergraduate scholarships.

The Conrad Challenge is an annual innovation challenge designed for high school students between the ages of 13 – 18. The challenge is designed for participants to apply their knowledge of science and technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve real-world problems around them. The competition brings together about a thousand five hundred participants worldwide.

The Conrad Challenge was founded in 2008 by Nancy Conrad, wife of the late NASA astronaut Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, with the aim of continuing his legacy in innovation and entrepreneurship. It consists of four categories which include Aerospace and Aviation, Health and Nutrition, Energy and Environment, and Cyber Technology and Security.

The Conrad Challenge debuted in Nigeria in 2018 and runs in three stages: the entry round, the semifinals, and the finals. Teams compete through the different stages by making elevator pitch videos about their ideas, creating prototypes, and commercially viable strategies to help them take their ideas to market. Visit www.ngconradchallenge.org to learn more about the innovation challenge.

The Energy and Environment category of the Global Conrad Challenge summit was initially scheduled to be held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, due to the pandemic, the global summit was held virtually from 27th – 29th May 2020.

Team Recycle Rex’s project tilted: ‘Composite Floor/Wall Tiles’, a highly durable water-resistant affordable floor/wall tiles that are made from waste polyethylene materials won them several awards including one million Naira (N1,000,000) grant from the Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions
and Innovations (PSCII).

What makes their innovation outstanding is not just their ability to effectively run the process without the need for electricity, but also creating the entire setup for recycling themselves using scrap materials. Here is a video they made.

The first runner up of the challenge in Nigeria, a team from the same school, Creative Innovators, created a manual pyrolysis plant using scrap to extract liquid fuel and cooking gas from waste plastic. Here is their video.

In 2018, team NEON from Whitesands School, Lagos emerged the overall global winner in the Smoke- Free World category in the global challenge. NEON was sponsored by GT Bank to attend the Global summit at Kennedy Space Center.

Team Innovation became one of the beneficiaries of the $2 million dollars total undergraduate scholarship awarded to Nigerian finalists in the competition in 2019 by Clarkson University, New York.

The next Nigerian Conrad Challenge competition BEGINS on SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2020. Entry is FREE to all teams. CLICK HERE to secure a spot for your team or school. All rounds of the challenge are completely run online.

2020 – 2021 Prizes and awards

General prizes:
⦁ Clarkson scholarship ($60,000 for 4 years) for all finalists
⦁ Certificates and medallions for finalists and coaches
⦁ Laptops for coaches of top 3 winning teams.
⦁ Press coverage for all finalist teams and their schools

Overall winner prizes:
⦁ All expenses paid trip to attend the Global Conrad summit in April 2021 worth $10,000
⦁ Represent Nigeria as a finalist at the Global summit
⦁ $1000 prize money for the team to create a market-ready MVP. Contingent on the team providing a reversed strategy plan of how to build the MVP under $1000 while employing the Agile methodology.
⦁ $25,000 per year scholarship to Menlo College for a total value of $100,000 over four years
⦁ $22,000 per year merit-based scholarship to Lewis & Clark College for a total value of $88,000 over four years
⦁ $15,000 per year scholarship to enroll in the Jefferson University School of Design and Engineering, a total value of $60,000 over four years
⦁ $15,000 per year scholarship to Clarkson University, for a total value of $60,000 over four years
⦁ $10,000 per year scholarship/partial abatement award to College of Charleston, a total value of $40,000 over four years
⦁ $2,500 per year grant to Florida Institute of Technology, on top of any merit-based scholarships earned (range from $10,000 up to 50% of tuition), for a total of $10,000 over four years
⦁ $1,000 scholarship to attend the Leangap program


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