Project iSWEST – Innovating Solutions With Engineering, Science and Technology
Project iSWEST is a 3-week intensive innovation boot camp for high school students in Ghana held every year in August.
Participants are given hands-on training in computer and Arduino programming, innovation and entrepreneurship. They are also taken through the innovation and design process from problem identification to prototyping solutions.
During the bootcamp, participants are grouped in teams and tasked with identifying a problem and developing a prototype solution to the problem using knowledge and skills they acquired during the bootcamp. They present their projects to a panel of judges on the final day called the Pitch Day.
Since 2013 Project iSWEST has been held each year except for 2016. Project iSWEST 2017 will be held this year in Accra from 7th August to 26th August 2017.
How It Works
1-Week Workshop Phase
In the first part of the program, students are introduced to the innovation process and entrepreneurship, and given basic practical training in computer and Arduino programming. Students will also have motivational sessions with external resource persons in person and via video link.
2-Week Innovation Phase
In the second part of the program, students embark on an educational field trip to familiarize themselves with problems on the ground. Six teams of five students each will be resourced to design and prototype innovative solutions to problems they have identified. Facilitators will support and consult with project groups during this phase.
The Pitch Day
The climax of Project iSWEST is the final day dubbed “The Pitch Day” when students present their solutions t\o an audience of high school officials, venture capitalists, policy makers and various organizations and a panel of judges. Teams are assessed on the impact, sustainability, feasibility and business viability of their projects.