Silicon Valley’s Technovation World Challenge announced that the Save A Soul Team with five girls from Nigeria won its Junior Gold Award. This team won over junior teams from countries like Turkey, China, Spain, and the United States. Save A Soul continues to make Africa and their home country of Nigeria proud.
The Technovation challenge was created to empower and inspire underrepresented people, focusing on highlighting all-girl teams aged 10 to 18. The Technovation challenge also hopes to promote STEM programs to girls that wouldn’t have the opportunity in regular conditions.
The challenge called for groups to pitch an innovative idea for an app for Android that will solve real-world problems unique to the area where each team lives. The girls that participate in this competition use mentorship and resources provided by Technovation.
To reach the Technovation final stage, participants have to first win the regional qualifiers. To succeed in the qualifiers, the teams were chosen from more than 2000 applications. The final stage with 12 teams brought many brilliant and innovative concepts to the stage. “Stop It” was one such app by a Spanish group that aimed to end gender violence by using a sensor to detect aggression that then sends a signal to an emergency number.
The Save A Soul team pitched the idea of the “FD” or Fake Drug Detector. This app helps to detect fake pharmaceuticals. This issue is prevalent in many countries, making the FD Detector an invaluable invention.
This detector will work to prevent lives from being lost by scanning pharmaceuticals’ barcodes to assess the authenticity and verify the expiration date. As there have been many lives that have been lost to fake drug consumption, the FD Detector stood out among the many applications.
The Save a Soul Team worked with their school for five months, carrying out research for their app. After being awarded $12,000 in scholarship money, the team went on to collaborate with the NAFDAC or the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control.
The team is now known as the competition’s “Golden Girls”, consisting of Adaeze Onuigbo, Vivian Okoye, Nwabuaky Ossai, Jessica Osita, and Promise Nnalue. All students came from South-East Nigeria, in the junior secondary level of school. Working with their mentor Uchenna Onwuamaegbu-Ugwu, the fact that an all-girls team mentored by a woman in STEM is a mark of progress in Nigeria, as well as the rest of the world.