Financing of Kenya Science and engineering fair projects has been a bottleneck in the development of quality items that compete successfully up to the national level. To this end, most schools have resorted to presentation of more abstract and theoretical projects as they require less money and time to prepare. Quality and well researched exhibits have been left to a few well established schools, more so the private owned ones.
Most science club patrons usually wait until funds are availed by the government to start project construction. This is usually too late to create a good workable item.
However, there are other ways that schools, particularly science clubs under good management can generate money that can fund the projects and make them become self-reliant.
Here are some possible income- generating ideas for science clubs.
A Science club can successfully start printing of School T-Shirts, School Badges, School IDs, etc. for the school and generate an income for themselves.
This will depend on the structure of tendering process in every school. Where there is absolute transparency; the school administration should surrender this task to science clubs.
A school that admits 100 form ones annually can generate Ksh.15, 000 on T-shirts, Ksh.3, 000 on badges and Ksh. 8,000 on IDs.
2. Waste paper recycling
It should be noted that schools and colleges are the largest consumer of paper products. A school with a total population of about 400 is estimated to dispose approximately 5kg paper.
If this paper is sold at Kshs. 5.00 per kilogram, then the club could make Kshs. 25.00 per day.
Recycling is done by soaking paper in water for about 3 days, and then it is stirred thoroughly to shred it. It is finally compacted into symmetrical shapes and allowed to dry. The dry blocks can then be sold by the science club to companies that buy waste paper products such as old newspapers and caton boxes.
The science club can show films to other members of the school at a small fee. This should include:-Documentary films, Teaching aid CD for sciences, Literature and Fasihi Set books, Movies, e.t.c.
Science Models and Instruments
There are many models and instruments which can be made locally by our science clubs, but may end up serving the same purpose. These models could be sold to schools and bookshops.
For instance:-Wire globe used in Mathematics, Aluminium-leaf electroscope, Ripple tank, Structure and Bonding models, Hoffman apparatus, Fish Aquarium, Chest model etc.
Value addition and sale foodstuff
Certain foodstuffs can be preserved especially through sun-drying and packaged for upper market. Others can be processed further to add value through proper packaging.
Among common foods that could be processed and preserved are: – Vegetables, Beef, Soya beans, Peanut Butter, Ground nuts, etc.
Rearing of farm animals
Farm animals such as sheep, rabbits, bees, poultry birds, etc. can be reared for sale. Other than selling the animals, they can be used for or to source for biology practical specimens.
Membership drive and termly contribution
With an active science club, members can make contributions periodically.
It is evidently clear that the potential to make money for preparation of Science and engineering fair projects is all around us. It is now a matter of choosing those activities that suit our situations best so that we can ease the burden of science clubs relying solely on the school administration.
Let us also harness the innate talents in our students by molding them appropriately through science clubs to make them enviably be looked at by others. This will enhance their self-esteem and face the challenges before them now and later in life.