SciBridge is gearing up for the maiden launch of its 1st workshop come September 2014 at Makerere University in Uganda, after nearly one year of piecing together many constructive ideas and fundraising.
Here, I'll share with you the networking event in support of the above arrangements that happened recently here in Uganda between SciBridge and the Joint U.S.-Africa Materials Initiative (JUAMI). You may remember that the SciBridge project is an off-shoot of the 1st JUAMI Materials Research School in Addis Ababa, Africa, in December 2012.
In the months of July and August 2014, Dr. Adrian Hightower of Harvey Mudd College (USA), JUAMI member and lecturer at the 2012 JUAMI School, was on a visit to Uganda. Despite his tight schedule, he was kind enough to spare time to promote SciBridge. The Department of Physics at Makerere University hosted him on two different occasions, first on July 28th and second on August 6th. He was accompanied by his friend Peter Keller of Aid Africa. He came to deliver some crucial supplies and make useful inputs to SciBridge. This was a wonderful gesture which hugely enhanced our efforts and preparations for the upcoming SciBridge workshop to be held at Makerere University in September 2014.
Here is what happened on the first day of his visit:
- He donated TiO2 paste to SciBridge. The TiO2 is crucial for the planned solar cell workshop at Makerere University.
- We held a fruitful discussion about SciBridge activities and agreed to meet again for a joint trial solar cell experiment in preparation for the upcoming workshop.
- We also discussed the viability of developing kits for laboratory-based battery experiments using natural fruits as another activity for the SciBridge. The idea was acceptable after discussing available trial results done earlier by a Physics undergraduate student. The contents of the experiment kits were proposed, including multi-meters, and through Peter Keller one multi-meter was mobilized and more additions are planned.
- We also met with the head of the Department of Physics (Dr. W. Tumps Ireeta) at his office and discussed a couple of issues. Thereafter, Dr. Tumps Ireeta led a tour of the departmental lecture theaters, laboratories, and research activities.
- Dr. Adrian Hightower and Peter Keller were hosted by Prof. Tom Otiti, a senior member of staff in the Department of Physics. Tom Otiti is also a member and African regional coordinator of JUAMI.
- Soon after the meeting with Tom Otiti, we came together for a trial experiment of dye sensitized solar cells. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete the experiment because we lacked a crucial electrolyte. A purchase order for the electrolyte has since been made and it’s expected to be delivered here by the end of August 2014.
Please, watch this space for more updates including the big upcoming dye sensitized solar cell workshop!