The quest to detect young talents for STEM areas goes on : CST awards winners in Math competition


The College of Science and Technology organized an award ceremony to recognize best high school students who previously emerged winners of Mathematics competition. The competition was organized back in March this year on the occasion of International day of Mathematics also know as Pi day. Prizes offered to students range from medals, laptops and iPads to scholarships at UR and 200,000 Frw in cash. The event was attended by nine schools from around the country.

Principal Dr Ignace Gatare (R) and a representative from AIMS Rwanda awarding one of the best candidate

In his opening remarks, the Principal of the College of Science and Technology Dr Ignace Gatare expressed his appreciation to the winners and schools they came from for the courage and skills showcased during the competition. Dr Gatare also highlighted the importance of Mathematics which, according to him is the foundation of all STEM courses.

The event also marked a panel discussion featuring different institutions with a high stake in science and technology in Rwanda. Discussions mainly focused on gender disparity in science and technology including different factors preventing young girls to take up and/or thrive in science subjects. High schools teachers in attendance shared their experience in the teaching of mathematics and also presented mechanisms and strategies in place to remove barriers triggering girls to shy away from Mathematics.

Dr Raymond Ndikumana, UR DVC SPA giving a medal to one of the winners in Mathematics contest

In his closing remarks, the Deputy Vice chancellor for Strategic Planning and Administration Dr Raymond Ndikumana commended the College’s initiative to organize the competition which is one if the strategies to amplify STEM initiative at the University of Rwanda and in Rwanda at large. Dr Ndikumana also hailed best candidates who attended the competition especially girls to keep on showcasing their ability in mathematics as much as their brothers because they are born with the same capacity.

The total candidates who attended the final test of the competition were 91 including 32 girls and 59 boys. Among them, only 15 emerged winners ; among them 3 were girls and 12 boys. For the first time since the Mathematics competition started, teachers who played roles in teaching mathematics were also awarded. This was a sign of appreciation and encouragement for them to keep up the spirit of developing young scientists for the country.

Participants in the awards event pose for a group photo

The annual competition was made possible thanks to the support of UR Sweden Program, AIMS-Rwanda, National Commission for Science and Technology and ICTP- East African Institute for Fundamental Research. Overall, the competition is organized in the quest to encourage young students especially girls to take up Mathematics while detecting young talents for STEM areas.