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Rusape student wins big at USA science competitions

Tinotenda Nyoni
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A STUDENT from Manicaland left a remarkable mark at the international Science competition in the United States of America after she clinched a bronze medal recently.

Tinotenda Nyoni (18) of Rusape, also scooped US$15 000 with a scholarship to study at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York after she competed in the Genius Olympiad competitions at the institution recently.

Nyoni, who is an Advanced Level student at Milestone College in Rusape, competed with a total of 1 065 other talented high school students from across 69 countries.

The Genius Olympiad competition is a prestigious international high school project competition about environmental issues that attracts participants from various institutions.

Nyoni’s project, which was titled: ‘The predicting, detecting and control fire system’ is aimed at reducing wildfire occurrences in the country by developing an affordable and reliable fire detection system which uses machine learning algorithms and sensors.

In an interview, Nyoni said she was elated that she came out tops among the many competitors.

“I am thrilled and humbled to have won this award. It is a great honour to represent my school, province and country at this level. I am also happy because I am very passionate about climate change and its impacts, one of which is veld fires, and having to produce such a project is one of my proudest moments.

“Veld fires have caused significant damage to land, property, and lives in the country, with human activities and climate change being major contributors. The system will detect conditions like smoke and predict fire behaviour, enabling timely response and minimising losses. The goal is to save lives, protect land and property, and reduce air and land pollution, with the ultimate aim of achieving zero deaths and losses due to wildfires,” she said.

Nyoni’s teacher, who also travelled with her and other team members to the USA, Mr Stewert Mderere said her outstanding achievement was as a result of her exceptional skills and hard work.

“To be recognised among many projects and students is a remarkable achievement. As her mentor and chaperone, I am very proud of her. I encourage her to continue shining bright. Her future is bright, and I am honoured to be a part of that journey,” he said.

Nyoni’s school, Milestone College has consistently produced high-achieving students in the STEM field.

Recently, they scooped the coveted 2024 First Tech Robotics Competition title in Milan, Spain.

Nyoni, who now has many international accolades to her name, was also a part of the team that represented Zimbabwe in Italy.