The 2019 Mekatilili Fellowship Program (MFP) was a 3-day workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya from 14th – 16th January 2019. In total, 30 fellows were accepted into the program. The fellowship program is a gathering of creative and innovative African youth aimed at building 21st Century skills. Through this program, fellows are be exposed to learning opportunities, internships and meaningful work while acquiring professional development training to prepare youth for the job market.
During the inaugural program, 9 project teams were formed to collaborate and work with 3 local partners (Twiga Foods, AB3D, and Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya) to co-design solutions based on three tracks:
Design for Accessibility
Design for Manufacturing
In addition to the design challenge, fellows were guided through professional development sessions that were grouped into:
CV/ Resume Clinic
The learning opportunity was in collaboration with the Technological Innovations for Inclusive Learning and Teaching (tiilt) Lab at Northwestern University and was supported by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab and The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. The fellowship program was focused on Human-Centered Design, the Internet of things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
2019 MEKATILILI FELLOWS
The 2019 Mekatilili Program fellows are:
Alfred Ongere, Alice Wanjohi, Beatrice Kamau, Brenda Ndoigo, Brenda Nyaringita, Charles Kanini, Cynthia Kamau, Denis Githinji, Elena Mwangi, Emmanuel Kinyanjui, Esborn Okero, Gilbert Kigen, Hampton Macharia, Huzeifa Dawood, Isaac Githiu, Joel Okioi, Joy Kinyanjui, Kelvin Mwaniki, Kithinji Muriungi, Mary Sadimba, Mercy Karagi, Millicent Auma, Noel Kimwatan, Osborn Shitakha, Peter Okwara, Philip Ndegwa, Sackey Freshia, Susan Ndagi, Tabitha Alango, Victor Okinda
Marcelo Worsley is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in Computer Science and Learning Sciences. He directs the technological innovations for inclusive learning and teaching (tiilt) lab, which aims to develop pedagogical and technological solutions for supporting learning among diverse populations in hands-on, collaborative, environments. More specifically, the goal of his research is to promote equity and advance society’s understanding of how students learn in complex learning environments by forging new opportunities for using multimodal technology. The use of multimodal technology is multi-fold. First, the environments that he studies allow students to experience learning across a range of modalities. Second, he uses multimodal signal processing and artificial intelligence to study how student learning is demonstrated across different modalities and time scales.
Jaleesa Trapp is a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab. She was previously a high-school computer science teacher and coordinator of an after-school technology-based community center in Tacoma, Washington, USA. Her research focus is on examining the race, class, and social barriers to constructionism in education through an intersectional lens with the hope to provide solutions to eradicate them. Jaleesa’s goal is to give marginalised youth access to STEM technologies and equip educators with the resources to provide an equitable learning environment.
Timothy Mwiti is a final year Computer Science student at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering. He works as a research assistant at the Northwestern University tiilt lab where he works on early software prototyping for interfaces to promote inclusivity as well as incorporate AI and Machine learning in complex learning environments, such as makerspaces. Having grown up in Kenya, Tim is passionate about harnessing technology in the development of new solutions for emerging markets.
Stephanie Jones is a PhD Student in Computer Science and Learning Science at the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy. Stephanie has a background in electrical engineering from Villanova University. In addition, she is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow in STEM Education and Learning Research Technology Education which combines her interested in technology and volunteering.