12-year-old Patrick Njoroge Wachira is raising funds in the UAE for a mobile STEM Lab that will teach and train underprivileged children on computer programming, coding and robotics to make them future-ready
LEAMS Education, has come forward with Dh 50,000 donation for a mobile Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Lab that is being set up by Patrick Njoroge Wachira, a 12-year-old Kenyan boy, and Unique World Robotics – a Dubai-based robotics training institute, after his sensational story was published in the media.
With a passion in the search for excellence, LEAMS EDUCATION came into existence in the UAE more than 3 decades ago. The journey of LEAMS Education would be best described by the analogy ‘a little spark that transpired into a burning flame.’
LEAMS believes that every child is unique in their own way. With quality education, they offer well equipped state-of -the -art facilities ranging from exclusive libraries, techno-savvy labs, STEAM / Robotic educational projects, and lastly, happiness and wellbeing centers. The schools managed by LEAMS EDUCATION have inspirational space, with an encouraging learning environment.
“After reading the report on Patrick Njoroge Wachira in the media, we decided to support Patrick’s initiative which is so close to our heart,” said Nabil Lahir, CEO of LEAMS EDUCATION. “It was such an inspiring story that inspired us to support him. If a 12-year-old boy can start such a noble initiative, why can’t we stand by him?
“We believe that every child is unique in their own way. With quality education, we offer well equipped state-of-the-art facilities ranging from exclusive libraries, techno-savvy labs, STEAM/Robotic educational projects, and lastly, happiness and wellbeing centers.
“We inspire our students to explore their talents through a wide range of activities like sports, after-school and creative activities, community development programmes. As an Inclusive school, we value and boost the talents of the gifted and the students with determination. So, there are lots of thing in common between our initiatives and that of Patrick Njoroge Wachira. We are happy to be a part of his future journey” said Nabil.
LEAMS Education operates a number of educational institutions, including The Indian Academy Dubai, The Apple International School, The Oxford School Dubai, etc.
Patrick Njoroge Wachira, a 12-year-old Kenyan boy, is a dreamer. He started making robots since he was just 10 years old. He also started teaching children computers and robotics at the age of 10. He has developed an initiative PNW Innovation Program – to offer free education to lots of Kenyan children deprived of basic computer learning and internet. He is a visionary in its true sense.
Bansan Thomas George, Founder and CEO of Unique World Robotics, who noticed the young talent, started mentoring Patrick Njoroge Wachira since 2020. His company Unique World Robotics is currently helping the STEM Lab initiated by Patrick Njoroge Wachira.
Bansan Thomas George says, “We are really overwhelmed by the response we are receiving from many people after the publication of the story in the media. As soon as the story appeared, we received calls from Leams Education who came forward to support Patrick’s initiative. Journalism is helping us spread the good initiative. Together, we can make a big difference.”
Patrick Njoroge Wachira created a robotic solution to a major problem in urban life – identify blockages in sewerage network using robotic sensors connected to smartphones – that detects and alerts control room to undertake preventive measures.
“I created a prototype, which could be implemented by municipalities. It also detects sludges, toxic chemicals and sends alarm to the control room,” says Patrick Njoroge Wachira, the world’s youngest CEO of PNW Innovation Program – his own initiative – that perhaps makes him the youngest CEO of an initiative. “It helps the authorities to detect the sludges, blockages early enough and undertake preventive measures with less human efforts.
“I am not getting proper cooperation from the civic bodies in Kenya. But we could make this work in the UAE and then spread this to the rest of the world. I will be happy to collaborate with any of the civic bodies in the UAE, be it Dubai Municipality or Sharjah Municipality to implement this robotic solution.”
This innovative robotic solution drew the attention of Dubai Expo who asked Patrick to display the innovation at the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Startup at Dubai Expo 2020.
The UAE is a place for dreamers. It is also a country that has started attracting global talents. It is a country that makes things possible for those who dare to dream in some other countries. Patrick Njoroge Wachira, also received the biggest support from a Dubai-based company, Unique World Robotics, that supported him and sponsored his journey to Dubai and his exposure to Dubai Expo.
Bansan Thomas George, Founder and CEO of Unique World Robotics, says, “It was during the COVID-19 lockdown that we received an email from Patrick and started working with him. We started mentoring him and his enthusiasm and talent draw our attention right from the beginning. We have seen passion and vision in him – in what he wants to do in Kenya.
“We coached him in robotics and overseen his creations. We pitched his name and his startup concept to the Expo 2020, and even though the deadline was over for application, his was accepted. We were happy to sponsor him to Dubai Expo where he showcased his robotic solutions. We are now mentoring him further to develop more innovative solutions.
“We are working with Patrick to create a mobile computer lab – STEM Lab, by finding an abandoned bus and convert it to a mobile computer lab – so that Patrick could travel throughout Kenya and teach students on computer programming, coding, hardware repairs and make them future-ready.”
Patrick Njoroge Wachira’s passion for machines helped him to experiment with laptops at a very early age. He started repairing old laptops from the age of 10, so much so, that his backyard soon became a de-facto computer lab – from where he started to develop robots.
He started training Kenyan children at the age of 10 – in 2020! Driven by his curiosity and thirst for knowledge, Patrick embarked on the vision for a future-ready Kenyan youth.
His tryst with computer technology started as soon as he had enrolled in school in Nairobi. He is being nurtured by a Dubai-based robotics training institute – that is going to strengthen the UAE as a regional hub of innovation, AI, big data and robotics.
Patrick, who is CEO of his company with initiative PNW Innovation Program, got opportunity to exhibit his project plan Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for Africa at Expo 2020 through Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), where he was the youngest stall owner. He was at the AIM Start-up at the Expo 2020 – promoting his skills, his potential in robotics technology – to investors to raise funds to develop robots.
His skills includes, coding, electronics and electrical engineering, design thinking, robotics etc. He is also interested in aviation and technologies related to it. It started when he was only 3 years old and was travelling with his grandmother.
“I fell in love with mathematics and computing at a very early stage in my school days, almost as soon as I started my studies and got introduced to computing,” Patrick Njoroge Wachira says.
“Initially, I used to fix abandoned and damaged computers, repaired them and make them work again. This helped me get noticed by others in the neighbourhood, who started bringing their laptops and desktops to me to fix hardware and software problems and I used to fix them. I used online tips to fix these and learned through Google search and other online resources. This later led to the development of an informal computer lab at my backyard. People started sending their computers to me for repair and upgrades, instead of sending it to shops.
“Then I started teaching children how to deal with computers, how computers work and how to fix things. It all picked up during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, when our schools were off and we had plenty of free time to indulge in our hobbies. Since I was passionate about computing, I started spending most of my time in computers and robotics.
“But those activities remained limited to my neighbourhood, until I started communicating with the Dubai-based Unique World Robotics through email and expressed my desire to learn more. They were quick to respond to me and I started taking online classes to improve my skills.”
Through PNW Innovation Program, Patrick aims to provide free education in robotics and STEM disciplines to educate, enable and empower young Kenyans for a sustainable and rewarding career. Its mission is to learn, upskill and make Kenyan children future-ready, connect and engage with experts to fulfill his dreams for Kenyan Youth through innovative solutions like operating mobile STEM Lab across rural Kenyan communities.
“I was lucky to have the backing of my family, who supported me in my works. I am grateful to Unique World Robotics for their help, training and guidance to bring me to the Annual Investment Meeting Start-up where I got a chance to demonstrate my works.”
With the help of a Dubai-based robotics company Unique World Robotics, who teaches robotics to children, that enable students to make robots at an early stage, Patrick started fixing laptops and desktops first. And soon during 2020 lockdown, at the age of 10, he started buildings robots.
He now teaches school and university students in Kenya for free after gaining expertise on robotics and programming languages such as python. Through his initiative, called PNW Innovation Program, his vision is to provide free education in robotics and STEM disciplines to educate and empower young Kenyans for a sustainable and rewarding career future. He wants to spread the entire concept of STEM in Kenya, reach out in different level.
Unique World Robotics is currently mentoring Patrick and building a mobile stem lab, a truck, which Patrick will drive around to all the villages, and spread his knowledge.
“The mobile STEM Lab is now getting ready and we will soon start our journey next month. This will help Kenyan children to become future ready. Once we cover Kenya, I have a vision to roll out this programme beyond our country to other East African countries. However, we need funding and more start-up capital,” he says.