Lira school wins key science award

Thursday September 13 2012

By Hudson Apunyo

LIRA.

Dr. Obote College Boroboro has emerged as the winner of the northern region Science and Technology Innovations challenge (STI).

The challenge, organised by the iLabs@MAK project under the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, Makerere University, attracted three schools; Dr. Obote College Boroboro, Lira Town College and Lango College.

Once Dr. Obote College was announced the winner, the joy that overcame the students was hard to miss. “We have worked hard for this. I am happy we have won,” Daniel Ruma , one of the students, said.

The schools started preparing for the challenge a year ago when the iLabs@MAK project set out to deploy internet laboratories in various up country schools in an effort to alleviate the logistical challenges associated with physical laboratories such as insufficient equipment, space and staff.

“The purpose of the challenge is to nurture young innovators in an effort to industrialise the economy,” the Associate Principal Investigator, at Makerere University, Mr Cosmas Mwikirize, said. The students were tasked to present their innovations and engage in mobile phone disassembling and reassembling.

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The innovations that were presented involved use of robots. Lira Town College came up with an automatic truck. The robot load lifter, which uses an ultrasonic sensor, senses that it has been loaded and automatically moves to the destination it has been programmed to. When the truck has been off loaded, it automatically moves back to its original position.

Dr. Obote College Boroboro, on the other hand, assembled a robot that automatically draws house curtains. The robot uses a sensor for light intensity to open and close. At dusk, when the light intensity is low, the robot closes and in the morning when the sun is up, it draws the curtains.
Lango College assembled a robot that pumps water as an alternative to the manual bore holes. The students, who designed the robot, said they were motivated by the need for clean water in the region.

The robot, they say, if manufactured could go a long way in easing the lives of many people. The pump has an ultrasonic sensor which detects that a container has been placed below the tap, which prompts the robot to pump water.

Dr. Obote College Boroboro emerged winner with 118 points followed by Lira Town College with 106 points and Lango College came third with 26 points. The central region challenge is set for this Saturday. The central region challenge will be held this Saturday at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and technology at Makerere.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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