The Management of University of Ilorin says its Renewable Energy Centre (UREC) would host the Guinness World Record on Innovation Hackathon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Hackathon is a science practical session dedicated to a specific topic or challenge, where participants work in small groups in a unique environment that encourages creative thinking and leads to surprisingly innovation, new concepts, ideas and prototypes.
Prof. Joshua Olaoye, the Director of UREC, who stated this during a news conference organised on the world record, said the event would come up on March 21, 2020, at the university, comprising participants from all universities across Kwara.
Olaoye, an expert in Agricultural and Biosystem Engineering, said the theme of the event is “Innovate Kwara”, adding that the purpose of the experiment is to initiate a mass awareness for innovation using electricity generation as a case study.
According to him, the feat aims to break the stereotype of conventional education which does not task students to ideate solutions for their immediate environment using out-of-lab- materials.
The director disclosed that this initiative of the university is the ‘largest science practical session’ as applied in our everyday lives conducted at a single venue in order to bridge Town and Gown’.
“This will therefore, create an opportunity for University of Ilorin through this programme to achieve the Hackathon Guinness World Record.
“This is a tripartite event which exposes our students to both indigenous and international mentors to come up with brilliant commercially viable ideas that is aimed at improving Kwara.
“The overall winners are expected to showcase at the grand finale of Tech Challenge in the USA, anchored by Tech Interactive, and set the novel World Record and make our students record holders,” he said.
Olaoye stated that the event would involve three awards, including Kwara State Governor’s Award for Enterprise, the University of Ilorin Council Chairman’s Award for Innovation, and University of Ilorin Vice Chancellor’s Award for Innovative Patents.
He explained that the overall objective is to domesticate the experience of the University of Ilorin Ph.D. student, Mrs Peace Nnabugwu, who was recently conferred a 2019 Fellow of TechWomen hosted in the United States and doubles as the Country Director, Science Ambassadors Foundation.
He disclosed that the Ph.D student has successfully commercialised the water filter she invented.
The director observed that the programme would foster creativity in students and encourage resilience, teamwork, knowledge application; and also teach students problem solving skills; revamp the students’ mindset.
“The goal is therefore, to take 5,000 students through this leadership and mentoring programme.
“The students will be taken through these leadership and mentoring programme through virtual interaction and an organised hands on practical session.
“The desire of our Vice Chancellor is to extend the programme to other tertiary institutions in the state and not to limit it to the benefit of our students at the University of Ilorin only,” he said.
Olaoye also explained that the students would be grouped into clusters of 100 students per unit, and would be assigned one international and one local mentors.