UBC Engineering students win local World's Challenge Challenge competition

Soma team picture
Pictured (left to right): Moses Kirathe, Shinina Muthiora and Mathew Bushuru

A team that includes two UBC Engineering students has won the UBC chapter of the World’s Challenge Challenge. Hosted by the UBC Global Lounge, the competition invites participants from diverse backgrounds and study areas to come together and devise solutions to global problems.  

The winning team, known as Soma, aims to provide access to high-quality educational content without requiring users to have an internet connection. The content — both original and curated from online educational websites — is made available through a small device that hosts Soma’s academic platform.

The team members are Mathew Bushuru, a third-year electrical engineering student; Moses Kirathe, a third-year business and computer science student (and a web developer at UBC Applied Science); and Shinina Muthiora, a fourth-year electrical engineering student.

In addition to earning a prize of $6,000, Bushuru, Kirathe and Muthiora will represent UBC in the 2020 World’s Challenge Challenge Global Final, which is scheduled to take place at Western University in June. Now in its seventh year, the competition will see 30 teams from around the world presenting their ideas to a panel of academic and community leaders.

The Global Final winner will be awarded $30,000 to support the development and implementation of their proposed solution.

One mission of the World’s Challenge Challenge is to help students improve “their academic, oral presentation, and entrepreneurial skills, all while encouraging them to take action on global issues and challenges.” 

The event also aims to bring together students from different institutions and cultures “to form a strong international network and create even greater potential solutions to significant global issues.”


UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Social Media The globe is the default icon for a social media platform. TikTok The logo for the TikTok social media platform. Calendar Location Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Search A magnifying glass. Arrow indicating share action A directional arrow. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service. Future of work A logo for the Future of Work category. Inclusive leadership A logo for the Inclusive leadership category. Planetary health A logo for the Planetary health category. Solutions for people A logo for the Solutions for people category. Thriving cities A logo for the Thriving cities category. University for future A logo for the University for future category.