Young Scientists

“Afrique innovante“ award - 3. Arielle Kitio: start from what each child is passionate about

Each child acquires the necessary skills to carry out his or her own project: they see that they can act on their environment.

"What is ABCcode? It's not just a software, it's more of an approach.

I will take an example: when I take a group of 20 children, in the end they will produce 20 different projects. They are children from the age of 7 because we thought we had to teach children to tell themselves: "Who am I?" "What am I passionate about?

I will take an example that often makes people laugh. I was giving a training session with 8-year-old children. And the first question I always ask children is: "What are you passionate about?"

One of them told me: "There's nothing I'm passionate about, but there's something that makes me very angry."

We told him: "What are you upset about?" He said: "That people pee ramdomly everywhere!"

You don't see this much here in Europe, but in Africa it's the case. So that's his problem. Everyone laughed. He said that this is the problem he wanted to solve through the training we give to children, the mobile application programming.

I said: "Is that the problem you're passionate about? So we're going to go with that problem."

We've matured the project. He said at the end that he wanted to create an application where you can detect all the public toilets around you.

If you can detect all the toilets, what else can you detect? All gas stations, hospitals, pharmacies, restaurants. We started from a point that was what pissed that child off.

So that's the logic behind this. We teach our children to detect a problem, to learn the new technology and to tell themselves: "At my level, I can use this technology to create a project, to solve something."

I congratulate the panelists, but what we forgot to mention is that scientists are not trained to be entrepreneurs. I can be the best mathematician in the world but that doesn't give me the ability to transform the results of my research into something that I can sell.

We want to give young people the technical skills, the entrepreneurial spirit to make them the new generation of technology leaders, who are autonomous, who are productive and who make their dreams come true through science and technology."

 

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Afriscitech, all science throughout all Africa.

Follow the news about scientific and technological research in Africa and by Africans.

 

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Afriscitech.com is published by Coopetic.

- Luc Allemand, Editor in Chief

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