Today, Scibridge had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Stan Meiburg of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As one of Scibridge's main goals is research in sustainable and renewable energy, Dr. Meiburg's presentation on the history and impact of the EPA was both timely, and inspiring. We also congratulate Dr. Meiburg as he accepts his new position as the Director of Graduate Sustainability at Wake Forest University.
Last year, Scibridge received an East Africa Strategic Grant from the Office of International Affairs. This year, Scibridge receives a spotlight in the GlobalEyes Newsletter. The article describes how the responses from the African student participants have been "overwhelming" which exemplifies the "necessity and impact" of the program. Below is a quote from Dr. Veronica Augustyn about the organization.
"The SciBridge project is important because it is bridging not only the scientific knowledge gap, by developing hands-on experiment kits for undergraduate and high school students in East Africa, but also because it is teaching students how to participate on diverse and global teams to solve critical global challenges."
- Dr. Veronica Augustyn, Scibridge Chair and U.S. Organizer
Click here to read the full article
On August 15, 2017 Scibridge became an official club at NC State University. As a result, Scibridge was granted the opportunity to apply for appropriations funding that is allocated to new student organizations. Today, Scibridge received the maximum amount of funding, $230, and will use the funds to further increase the membership of the organization. We thank the NC State Student Government for this funding opportunity.
New Year! New Collaborations! Scibridge hopes to collaborate with Shaw University Students more in 2017.
December of last year, NC State students of Scibridge collaborated with the Shaw University students in an opportunity to perform a trial run on the experiment kits and gain feedback from students with diverse technical backgrounds in order to create a better lesson plan, and open the dialog for future collaborations. Scibridge is currently working on building an experimental kit based in thermoelectrics. Thermoelectric devices generate a voltage due to a temperature differential on opposite sides of the material. This goes hand-in-hands with Scibridge’s goal of making experimental kits based in Materials science, energy, and sustainability. This kit will make use of a Thermoelectric Peltier Plate.
The Shaw University students proved to be an excellent test case for the draft lesson plan and provided great insight. Alex Hsain, Scibridge experiments coordinator, expressed that the “Shaw University students were excited to learn and dive into experiments.” Alex also expressed how the “valuable feedback” the Shaw University students provided on “areas of the lesson plan that needed clarification [and] questions that needed adjustment,” would prove instrumental in improving on the TEG (thermoelectric generator) kit as well as future kits. Areas such as the length of the lesson plans as well as the clarity of the instructions will need to be reevaluated before sending the finished product across the globe.
Scibridge hopes to pair up with interested Shaw University students in the future. When asked about the potential collaboration, Scibridge member Chris Boggs expressed great excitement. “Yes! Even if it is just for building a better lesson plan,” exclaimed Chris, “They could even be involved in webinars about the materials they have been learning!”
The experimental kit and lesson plan is not complete yet, but Scibridge plans to ship the kits to some of our partner East African Universities in June 2017. As we continue to walk through the year, future collaborations with Shaw University students will be instrumental in the finished product of the TEG kit and future kits to come.
Dear SciBridge Supporters,
As 2016 draws to an end, we welcome you to reflect with us on the progress and impact of the SciBridge project on achieving its mission of enabling renewable energy collaborations amongst university scientists and educators in the U.S. and Africa.
This year was an exciting year for us in terms of establishing our U.S. home base at North Carolina State University and developing financial support for experiment kits for the next few years. We also shared the message of SciBridge around the U.S. in the hopes of developing new financial support and general interest in U.S.-Africa science collaborations. The following are particular highlights:
In the coming years, SciBridge will continue to act as a connection and collaboration platform for scientists in the U.S. and Africa. We firmly believe that there is a significant need for sustainable energy development, and that assembling teams of scientists from all regions of the world to work together will be a key component of solving this global challenge. Universities are ideally positioned to train students to work on culturally diverse and interdisciplinary teams and provide them the understanding and hands-on experience to realize – and invent – new, sustainable energy technologies.
Lastly, we would like to thank you all for your time and enthusiasm for the project, whether it is via your role as a current or former volunteer, as an educator, a student who participated in our workshop, or a fan. We wish you all a happy and peaceful 2017. Please continue to follow our progress on our website, Facebook, or twitter. We welcome your feedback and new ideas!
Assistant Professor, NC State University
SciBridge Chair & U.S. Organizer
Materials Science & Engineering students & SciBridge ambassadors meeting and brainstorming with one of the most eminent scientists of our time, Millie Dresselhaus! Students discussed the future of Scibridge as well as their current individual research projects. We were honored to have her in our presence today.
Today, Scibridge had the honor of receiving $6000 in grant funding via the North Carolina State University Office of International Affairs. Scibridge will use the majority of this funding to finish and ship the TEG experiment kits.
The SciBridge project just received funding from National Science Foundation (NSF)!!!! The new grant will allow us to develop and build experiment kits for the next 5 years, and train students in the U.S. and Uganda to work together to solve the global energy challenge with sustainable technologies. We are excited about the opportunity through this grant to continue our mission.
Keep informed on our Facebook and Twitter page as well as the Scibridge website
For the past two weeks (September 19-September 30), Scibridge at NC State University has had the pleasure of hosting our Africa Coordinator and Vice Chair, John Paul Eneku. It has been fun indeed as he will surely be missed at he makes his 18 hour flight back to Uganda. Until we meet again, John Paul! Best wishes on your travels back to Uganda!
The following is a copy of a press release
Development of economically viable labs for African universities
[September 12, 2016]
[Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.] – A team of materials science graduate students from across the United States and East Africa is moving forward with their plan to develop low cost electrochemistry labs for undergraduates in African universities. The team intends to create a module comprising a potentiostat, a lab manual, and supplies for a semester’s worth of experiments—all for less than $100 per student. This will be achieved using an Arduino based potentiostat. The planned experiments will teach the students how energy technologies function, from batteries to solar cells, while reinforcing fundamental concepts of electrochemistry learned in lectures.
The team met this summer while participating in a sustainable energy workshop in Arusha, Tanzania, hosted by the Joint Undertaking for an African Materials Institute (JUAMI). There, the students learned about various setbacks faced by African scientists throughout their education. “One issue repeatedly brought to our attention was that African scientists generally lacked the handson experience that we gain in our undergraduate labs here in the U.S.,” says mr. kwembur, one of the team members. “This problem was universally attributed to a lack of equipment and supplies.”
If you have recently stepped into an undergraduate lab in the United States, you may know that they are an enormous undertaking of equipment maintenance, supplies, and the logistics of accommodating several hundred students each semester. An operation of this scale is daunting to many African universities, and most end up emphasizing theory over handson learning.
After using Arduino modules (a lowcost, opensource hardware/software kit for creating interactive sensors and controls) for several activities during this summer’s sustainable energy workshop, the team realized these modules could easily serve as replacements for potentiostats, the basic electronic hardware required for most electrochemistry experiments that can cost thousands of U.S. dollars per instrument. Within the first year of the project, the team plans to build a classroom set of 10 Arduinobased potentiostats and perfect 5 experiments to accompany the instruments. These will be tested in three partner universities in Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya for the clarity and durability of the modules. After taking this feedback into account, the team plans to expand the project to eight additional universities in Africa during the second year of the project.
Morko Kwembur Isaac, firstname.lastname@example.org (CoPrincipal Investigator)
Department of Physics, Kenyatta University, PO Box 438440100, Nairobi, Kenya
[Christopher Boggs, email@example.com (CoPrincipal Investigator)
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University]
The international team, from left to right: Professor Sossina Haile (Northwestern University), one of the organizers of the summer workshop; Betsy Melenbrink (University of Southern California); Anupama Khan (California Institute of Technology); Angela Karoro (University of South Africa); Lameck Kabambalika Nkhonjera (Malawi University of Science and Technology); David Bahati (University of Dar es Salaam); Yuguang C. Li (Pennsylvania State University); Guy Cordonier (West Virginia University). Not pictured: Christopher Boggs (North Carolina State University); Morko Kwembur Isaac (Kenyatta University); John Paul Eneku (Makerere University).