Last week was a hustle of activity for most Primary and Secondary Schools in Lusaka as everyone prepared for the Provincial Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) event. Since its inception 43 years ago, JETS has become a prestigious and high profile event in the Zambian school calendar. This year was no different.
Hundreds of hopeful students from different primary and secondary schools in the Lusaka district made it to Kabulonga Girls High School where the annual event was hosted. The aim was to battle it out with their peers in order to make it to the national competition.
JETS Zambia has been running for an impressive 43 years. The organisation was started by a group of eminent scientists in 1968 during a Zambia Association for Science Education (ZASE) meeting. During this history making meeting, the scientists seized the opportunity to co-ordinate school science clubs through a formal organisation that they decided to call Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS). The idea behind the formation of JETS was to popularise science and mathematics in schools. The JETS mission is, ‘To promote the production and display of high quality scientific and mathematical projects that provide solutions to local problems.’ JETS is all about providing young people with a better foundation in science and mathematics and giving youths an opportunity to learn and apply scientific principles in the design and construction of scientific and technical items. These objectives are being met through the ever popular JETS fairs promoted by many schools including the following featured on thebestofzambia.com
This year the judges had their work cut out for them. The Best of Zambia team stopped by and were immediately swamped by bright, eager students who passionately explained their projects. One member of the team was lucky enough to walk away with a real life crystal! Some of the interesting projects we observed ranged from a primitive but interesting home-made projector to furious simulations of volcano eruptions right down to complex digital door locks.
Kasisi Girls Secondary School stole the limelight with nine of their students making it to the national competition. Other schools that walked away with prizes were David Kaunda and Kabulonga High Schools, among others.
The National JETS Fair will begin on the 8th of August at Hillcrest Technical School in Livingstone. It will attract over 400 students from all the nine provinces of Zambia. With such innovative young minds, it is clear to see that Zambia has a bright future.