Apply for Project iSWEST 2021

You can be one of the 15 people selected to participate in Project iSWEST 2021.
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Overview

From 20th September to 9th October 2021, Nsesa Foundation will be giving 15 SHS students, SHS graduates as well as students in tertiary institutions the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on training in innovation and computer programming during Project iSWEST 2021 which will happen virtually in Ghana.

Project iSWEST is a 3-week intensive innovation and career development bootcamp where high school students are given practical training in the innovation process from problem identification to building innovations to solve real-world problems.

We’ve run the program 6 times and the most recent one held in 2019 was focused on Health. This year’s program will focus on the theme  “#TheNewNormal: Challenges and Opportunities for Innovation”. Participants will work in teams to design and prototype innovative solutions to some of the challenges they will identify related to the theme.

Additionally, as we did last year, in line with one of our goals of encouraging African girls and young women to pursue STEM, we have three (3) STEM WOW scholarships for exceptional female applicants to attend Project iSWEST 2021. Indicate your interest in being considered for the scholarship in the application.

Benefits

After participating in Project iSWEST participants will

  • Gain basic skills in Computer Programming via coding on your phone!
  • Learn how to use the design process to identify a problem and develop possible, sustainable solutions to those problems.
  • Learn how to turn a business idea into a viable business.
  • Learn how to present and pitch ideas and products.
  • Learn how to work together in a team.
  • Get access to a large network of alumni, mentors and other resource persons who can help transform Project iSWEST ideas into viable businesses.
  • Be inspired and challenged by professionals in top companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google
  • Receive a certificate upon successful completion

 

 

Structure of Project iSWEST 2021

Project iSWEST 2021 will be in two parts, the Workshop Phase, and the Innovation Phase.

Workshop Phase (Week 1)
Students will be introduced to the innovation process and given basic hands-on training in computer programming and the innovation process.

Innovation Phase (Weeks 2 & 3)
Participants will familiarize themselves with problems after which they will work in teams to further research the problem, design and prototype an innovative solution to the problem. Facilitators and mentors will be assigned to each team to support and assist the team during the innovation phase. Students will also have mentorship sessions with young technology professionals and our alumni from top companies  (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc.) and top schools (e.g. Columbia, Dartmouth, ETH Zurich, MIT, Princeton, Stanford,  Yale etc.) via video link.

The Pitch Day
The climax of Project iSWEST 2021 is the final day dubbed “The Pitch Day” where teams will present their solutions to a panel of judges, education officials and other dignitaries. Teams will be assessed on the impact, sustainability, feasibility and business viability of their projects. Awards will also be presented to the top teams.

 

 

Eligibility

All SHS students, SHS graduates as well as students in tertiary institutions in Ghana are eligible. Applicants are not required to have prior experience with programming before applying. Students reading other programs apart from Science and technology are highly encouraged to apply!

To apply you should

  1. Be resident in Ghana.
  2. Must have access to reliable internet.
  3. Must have access to laptop or a smartphone
  4. Be able to commit to participating in the full program from 20th September to 9th October 2021 from 8 am to 5 pm each weekday.
  5. Be able to commit to completing all activities including participating in group work, submitting assignments, taking part in research activities, the pitch day etc.
  6. Must be highly motivated about developing innovations to address real-world problems

 

Application

Students can apply by completing the online application form below. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the application deadline.

 

Cost

All successful applicants will be required to pay the non-refundable registration and program fees to confirm participation in the program only after acceptance.

The Program Fee is GHc500 which must be paid by ALL students. This fee covers

  • Administrative costs
  • Tuition for 3 weeks
  • Course materials and resources
  • Team project allowances
  • Certificates and T-shirts

Logistics

The application deadline is Saturday, 11th September, 2021 so hurry and apply now!

If you’d like more information or have any problem at any point during your application, kindly contact us at info@nsesafoundation.org or call 0549851858/0556914070.

Need some inspiration to apply?

Check out the impact we are making here

Checkout press releases on past editions: 2014, 2017, 2018 and other programs by the team: STEM WOW ChroniclesSuaCode Ghana 2019, SuaCode Africa 2019.

Our alums have won awards in Ghana (Jude Asiedu, Eric Vondee) and outside with some studying in top schools like MIT, Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale etc.  

 

About the Team

Project iSWEST is overseen by our strong and highly accomplished team of cofounders:

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who should apply?

We are looking for SHS students, SHS graduates as well as students in tertiary institutions who are passionate about creating impact in the society and are interested in exploring opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to achieve this. We particularly encourage girls to apply because they are underrepresented in STEM careers.

2. Is there financial aid for students?

Unfortunately not this year. The program fee (GHc500) must be paid by all students.

3. When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for all applications is  Saturday, 11th September, 2021. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so it’s best to apply as early as you can.

3. When will the decisions be announced?

All application decisions will be communicated latest by Monday, 13th September 2021 by email.

4. How will applicants be selected?

Applicants will be selected based on responses to questions in the application that demonstrate passion and commitment to making an impact in society. Remember that only 15 students will be selected. So go all out and tell us everything that makes you stand out!

5. If I’m selected, how and by when do I commit?

All selected students will have to commit to the program by paying the full program fee (GHc500) and completing our pre-program survey will be in the acceptance email by Wednesday, September 15th, 11:59pm GMT. Detailed instructions will be in the acceptance email. Failure to do so will result in your position being offered to someone else on our waiting list.

6. I am not a science student. Can I still apply?

Definitely! Our program is designed for all high school and tertiary students regardless of your course. We have had several non-science students in previous editions of Project iSWEST so you are encouraged to apply.

  1. What is the STEM WOW Scholarship about?

The STEM WOW Scholarship is in line with one of our goals of encouraging African girls and young women to pursue STEM careers.This scholarship covers the full program costs for exceptional female applicants to attend Project iSWEST. Three (3) scholarships are available this year for female students who are exceptional, have high innovation potential and have a demonstrated financial need.