HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FAIR
The Kenya Science and Engineering Fair (Formerly, National Students’ Congress on Science and Technology) was launched in 1962 by the science teachers who were members of the then Kenya Science Teachers Association (KSTA). In its initial stages, the congress only catered for secondary schools around Nairobi. It was not until 1965 that the congress acquired a national outlook by allowing schools in the republic to participate. Entries from students were restricted to Physics, Chemistry and Biology. In 1989, the range of entries to the congress was expanded to accommodate the subjects offered in 8-4-4 curriculum.
Until 1995, the venue of the congress was restricted to Kenya Science Teachers College. However, it was found necessary that the activity be reorganized in line with the Ministry of Education policy governing all the co-curriculum activities and it was resolved that the venue for hosting the event be made rotational.
In line with the implementation of the country new constitution, the Ministry of Education in 2012,grouped the counties into regions to replace the provinces which were abolished. The regions were as follows.
- Metropolitan (Nairobi, Machakos, Makueni and Kajiado Counties)
- Aberdares (Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Muranga, Nyeri, Nyandarua and Laikipia Counties)
- Highlands (Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kitui and Samburu Counties)
- Mau (Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Bomet, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu and Nandi Counties)
- Nzoia (Kakamega, Busia, Vihiga, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Turkana Counties)
- Lake (Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii and Nyamira Counties)
- Coastal (Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Tana River and Taita Taveta Counties)
- Northern (Garrissa, Wajir and Mandera Counties)
However, the naming of these regions changed as from the year 2017 to the names that were there before 2012. These includes; Nairobi region( 1 county), Eastern region( 8 counties), Western region( 4 counties), Central region ( 5 counties), Coast (6 counties) , Rift valley ( 14 counties) North Eastern ( 3 counties), and Nyanza region (6 counties)
The KSEF has re-organized the fair both in terms of categories and mode of presentation in line with international standards. There are 11 categories for competition which include; Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, ICT, Food Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering and Energy. They are soon thinking of including an extra category of social and behavioral sciences.
Also, the fair has been affiliated to Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) which is always held in U.S.A in the month of May and ESKOM Expo for young scientists held in October in Johannesburg, South Africa. Four teams participated this year in the Intel ISEF competition at Los Angeles, USA. These were from SCLP Samaj School, while two schools – Stephen kositany Girls and St. Stephen Sikusi Boys secondary schools participated in South Africa International Science Fair.
This year, six projects will be selected to represent the country in these fairs in October this year and in May next year.