The History of Science for Development in Tanzania

Young Scientists Tanzania Science Outreach Programme 

Young Scientists Tanzania

A successful relationship 


Dr. Gozibert Kamugisha/Joseph Clowry/Dr. Brendan Doggett/Nabil Karatela


Habari za asubuhi mabibi na mabwana. Mko poa? Karibuni sana.

Invited guests, inspirational teachers, educators, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the invitation to share our experiences on Science for Development, the establishment of the Young Scientists Tanzania Science Outreach Programme and Young Scientists Tanzania. I am Dr. Gozibert Kamugisha, Co-Founder of Young Scientists Tanzania and I am delighted to be here this evening with YST Project Manager, Nabil Karatela and my colleagues from Ireland, Mr.Joseph Clowry, Co-Founder of Young Scientists Tanzania and Dr. Brendan Doggett, Science Advisor and Senior Judge for Young Scientists Tanzania. The introduction of Young Scientists Tanzania in Tanzania is an incredible transformational story. The four of us will highlight how this great Science for Development model was introduced and embedded in Tanzania. This presentation reflects the work that has been undertaken to introduce an education programme to secondary schools in Tanzania over the past decade (2009 – 2019). This work has resulted in the creation of an independent Tanzanian led and owned organization whose objective is to introduce science for development throughout Tanzanian secondary schools. 

Our appreciation and thanks are shared with the government, sponsors, people, schools, teachers and above all, children of Tanzania, without whom we would never have realized this project. Along the way we have been fortunate to have the support of individuals and organisations, state bodies and partners. They know who they are and we extend our thanks to them. YST shall always be grateful for the generosity and spirit of this ongoing support as YST has emerged and grown to its current nationwide education programme. In order to understand the context for this great project, I would like to call on my colleague, Joseph Clowry to inform you about the foundations and early work in establishing support for the project. 

Thank you Dr. Kamugisha. I will talk about the early stages of introducing Young Scientist Tanzania and then will hand you back to my colleagues, Nabil Karatela and Dr. Brendan Doggett. As I go through this presentation, enjoy the power point and hopefully together, they will build a picture of this incredible journey. We will be happy to answer questions after the presentation. This lecture will be available online so dont worry about notes or dates.

Young Scientists Tanzania consists of two complementary components, a national Science Outreach Programme and an annual national Young Scientists Exhibition. The model of for the young scientist exhibition component is based on the Irish young scientist exhibition. These are the two important components that work hand-in-hand to deliver the unique transformational impact in Tanzania and a Science for Development model that can be transferred to any developing country. They are delivering an amazing transformational impact in Tanzania and a model that can be transferred to any developing country. 

Sowing the seeds for Science for Development in Tanzania

Part 1

To present a personal perspective on Science for Development, I could talk about growing up in rural Ireland back in the late 1950’s, or when I went to the Young Scientist in Dublin for the first time in 1968. That would be an important part of the story but will begin in 2004.

In 2004, some 25 years after graduating from Trinity College Dublin and having taught and lived in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, I began putting together a syllabus for a Development Education course that would actively engage secondary school students in Ireland with issues of inequality, the Millennium Development Goals-MDG’s and actively develop a global/local (Glocal) narrative in general.

I felt that science teachers and scientists in general were not sufficiently motivated or involved in Science for Development. In 2006, I worked with St. Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise and Self Hep Africa to write development education resources and a course for secondary schools in Ireland, “Development Issues-a course for Transition Year”. Over the next two years, news of the new course spread and several workshops were held in Maynooth University for another twenty-four schools interested in embedding the course in their transition year programme. 

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) validated the course

Part 2 

In 2008, I began working as Education Officer with the Combat Diseases of Poverty Consortium (CDPC) at Maynooth University. My key role was to develop the concept of Science for Development and embed Development Education in secondary schools by linking and highlighting the work of the consortium.  Many workshops, seminars and discussions were organized throughout Ireland, to support schools in research that could impact the lives of people living in poverty and to engage students with Science for Development and the Development Goals. At the same time an innovative Science for Development Outreach Program was developed for twenty-six East African researchers studying at Maynooth University between 2008-2012. The researchers worked with science for development workshops in Ireland and mentored projects for SciFest, BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and Young Social Innovators competitions.

Dr. Gozibert Kamugisha with Sr Stanislaus and on Science Outreach in Ireland 2010

Using this program, Dr. Gozibert Kamugisha and I worked together to develop a similar Science for Development initiative in Tanzania.

The Science for Development model proved inspirational for all the researchers and Irish students. A symbiotic, catalytic and transformational relationship developed with the East African researchers and the secondary students, based both on the programme content but specifically through respective cultural, historical and life experiences of the diverse participants. The impact of this exchange of experiences informed the scale and scope of research undertaken by several Irish students entering for the Irish Aid/Self Help Africa Science for Development prize at the BTYSTE in Dublin.

As a result, the East African researchers recognised the potential a similar approach could have in developing a much needed science culture in their own respective countries.

The first two CDCP researchers in 2008, Dr. Kalule John Bosco and Dr. Brenda Nabitula from Uganda mentored projects in several secondary schools in Ireland on issues ranging from causes of poverty, malaria, nutrition and pro-biotic drinks for people living with HIV. Some of their mentored projects went on to win prizes at BT Young Scientist in January 2009 and the project  “Living in Poverty” from Colaiste Bhride, Carnew and Dunboyne College, was the overall winner of Young Social Innovators in May 2009. Many other mentored schools submitted Science for Development projects to the BT Young Scientist in 2009 but very few were selected to exhibit. I raised this issue with Peter Broad who was in charge of organising the exhibition. This also happened in 2010 and again I highlighted the lack of Science for Development projects at BTYSE 2010 and argued why some more projects should be included. Currently, there is greater publicity and representation of Science for Development projects at the annual exhibition in Dublin.

Part 3

A CDPC organised a stand at the BT Young Scientist in January 2009 and this gave the consortium the opportunity to highlight the potential and increase the profile of Science for Development. 

In January 2009, at the first executive meeting of the CDPC, I gave a presentation about the Science for Development Outreach Programme to the CDPC’s African Advisory Committee, consisting of Dr. Gabrielle Persley, Dr. Viktor Konde, Dr Ida Susser and Prof. Michael Kelly. The CDPC Advisory panel supported the initiative in exploring the possibilities of introducing a similar model in East Africa. 

While I was delighted with the success of this outreach work in Ireland, it quickly dawned on me that this model would be more transformational in developing countries. Despite having to focus on my job in Ireland as Education Officer, baseline research was undertaken in Tanzania to assess the scope and scale of science teaching, its quality and its needs. As a result of this, it became clear if a Science for Development model were to be established, it would need a high profile Science Exhibition to promote, generate interest and showcase the capacity building objective of the outreach work. 

All types of international and national science fairs were then examined. In Africa, Scifest South Africa and Kenya Science Congress (Kenya Science and Engineering Fair) established in 1996 and 1962 respectively were researched as potential models. Eventually it was agreed that an exhibition similar to the Young Scientist or SciFest models in Ireland could transfer well to East Africa, working in partnership with the science for development outreach template.

Part 4

In May and July 2009, I travelled to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to investigate the implementation of a Science for Development Model to East African CDPC partner countries and assess the available support. As I had delivered an educational and training project in Libya between 1986 and 1990, I now looked forward to this challenge in East Africa.

In Tanzania, Prof Eligius Lyamuya, Muhimbili University, Dr.Gozibert Kamugisha and Dr.Jacqueline Mgumia from University of Dar es Salaam were key proponents of the proposal of combining a Science Exhibition with the Science for Development outreach model.

High-level meetings with the government were arranged and the potential of transferring the model to Tanzania was discussed in detail. All the consulted stakeholders supported the introduction of this model in Tanzania.

Meetings were held with James Davey, Matthew Banks and Dr. Monica Gorman, Tanzania Country Directors for Concern Worldwide, Children in Crossfire and Oxfam respectively and all three NGOs were very highly supportive of the Science for Development initiative. Dr. Monica had previously met the Dr. Bosco and Dr. Brenda, CDPC Ugandan Alumni in Ireland when she worked with Self Help Africa and was aware of the science for development outreach programme in Irish schools. Meetings were also held with potential sponsors from the private sector.

Following the successful developments in Tanzania, a meeting was arranged with Dr. Tony Scott, Co-founder of Young Scientist in Ireland on 30th June 2009, to explore if Young Scientist would be interested in permitting the use of their template to assist in establishing appropriate protocols and procedures for the exhibition component of the evolving Tanzanian model. Scott confirmed support  “in principle” for the use of the Young Scientist template in Tanzania and I pressed ahead with work on the project for a further eighteen months.

Part 5

Shortly after the initial meeting with Dr Scott, follow up meetings were held with Professor Eligius, Dr Gozibert, Dr Jacqueline and Titus Mteleka, retired Government Director of Science and Technology. Meetings were then arranged with Dorothy Mwaluko, Ministry of Education and Hassan Mshindi, Director, Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). The Commission granted me a research visa to study the feasibility on the introduction of the Science for Development model in Tanzania.

Science Outreach workshops in Arusha region

Despite growing interest and enthusiasm in East Africa for the idea in 2009 and 2010, Irish Aid/HEA in Ireland who provided funding for the CDPC were not in a position to support the project at that time as my work focused on Ireland only. I soon realised I would need to get independent support and funding to deliver the project and I would need to work independently of my job as Education Officer. Fortunately, Dr. Noel Murphy, Prof. Michael Kelly and Dr. Jamie Saris were fully supportive at this time.

Part 6

In July 2009, I began discussions with Zantel Telecom. The CEO, Irishman Noel Herrity, was a great supporter of the Young Scientist in Ireland. After several months of communication, Zantel finally agreed ‘in principle’ to be the sponsor of YST. There was great excitement in Tanzania. Discussions continued for another few months to tie down the agreement but unfortunately, these negotiations collapsed unexpectedly and abruptly in mid 2010, with the change of CEO and management in Zantel. Fortunately, during this period of negotiations with Zantel, I had kept busy, project managing all the other components needed to launch the project.

In January 2010, Gozibert Kamugisha whom I had first met in Tanzania in May 2009 came to study with the CDPC in Maynooth University. Kamugisha became highly active in the Science for Development Outreach Programme. We travelled all over Ireland, presenting workshops, seminars and discussion and mentoring projects for SciFest, Young Social Innovators and BTYSTE. He saw first-hand the concept of the Young Scientist and the Science for Development Science Outreach Programme. Dr Gozibert Kamugisha and I would eventually become Co-Founders of Young Scientists Tanzania and set up Young Scientist and Technology Tanzania Ltd in 2011. Kamugisha will talk in a while.

Part 7

After the disappointments with Zantel, I eventually leveraged incubation funding to pilot the project from Pearson Foundation. The route to secure this funding was really exhausting and I will briefly document. In 2010, I was introduced to fellow Irishman, Michael McGarvey, VP Africa Schools, Pearson, London. Michael’s support was crucial as he advised and supported Pearson’s Foundation and Affordable Learning Fund to deliver sustainable development projects and sponsor innovative new school models in Africa. Fortunately, Young Scientists Tanzania would become one of these projects.

On 14th January 2011, I arranged a follow up meeting with Dr Scott at BTYSTE 2011, to report on progress over the eighteen months since our last meeting. I invited Michael to the exhibition as a potential sponsor and introduced him to Dr. Tony Scott. The hard work was beginning to pay off.

In Feb 2011, I organised a meeting with Austin Gormley, Sean Hoy, Grainne O’Neill and Maire Matthews at Irish Aid offices in Hatch Street, Dublin to brief about the great progress in Tanzania and potential incubation funding from Pearson Foundation.

When all the components required to introduce the science for development model were in place, I requested the use of the Irish Young Scientist model as a template for the Tanzania exhibition. This was  granted on 20th April 2011 by YSTE Ltd. This permission to use the Irish young scientist model as a template for the exhibition was subsequently renewed by Michael Duffy on 20th March 2012, Patrick Guiry on 21st March 2016 and 13th December 2018.

On 28th April 2011, a week after getting this permission from Tony, I organised an important meeting with Lorcan Fullam, Dr. Murphy, Dr. Saris, Peter Broad and Dr Tony Scott in the RDS, Dublin  (home of Young Scientist) to inform of the progress with all stakeholders and sponsors. 

Lorcan Fullam, was posted as the new ambassador in 2010 and was a strong advocate for the project. However, he pointed out the difficulties the embassy had in being able to support the project, as education was not a priority objective of the Tanzania desk. However, he clearly wanted the Embassy to be part of this great project. He was kept up to date on the progress and developments and in 2011, he assigned Aileen O’Donovan from the embassy to liaise and develop partnership between YST and the embassy. Aileen provided great support, advice and guidance on the initial YST grant aid proposal that would allow the Embassy to support the project.

It was also great to receive support from Eamonn Brehony, Paddy Reilly and Alais Morindat and Kimmage DSL at that time 

I met Michael McGarvey and several other members of his Pearson African team several times in London. I travelled to Dar es Salaam in May 2011 to meet Eric Gregory from Pearson Foundation (PF) and Katie Smith from Pearson. Eric was a keynote speaker at the conference. Pearson was one of the main sponsors of the ICWE eLearning Conference being held at Mlimani Conference Centre.  I used the opportunity to meet Eric and fully explain the components of the project.

Eric supported the proposal when he realised that the funding request would deliver a high quality Science Outreach Programme in secondary schools to build capacity in the sciences and at the same time promote a much needed research culture, Following this important meeting with Eric, communications with Jenny Redmond and Mark Nieker in the USA Pearson Foundation Offices gathered momentum.

At this time, I also met Dr. Brendan Doggett, an Irish scientist who was living in Dar. I explained the project and he bought into the idea and became fully involved with the project from that very moment. He was excited by the idea of combining a quality Science Outreach Programme with a proposed Young Scientist Exhibition. Brendan will talk about this in a while. Brendan is now the Head of Judges at YST and Science Advisor.

In early July 2011, Co-Chairs of the CDPC, Dr. Noel Murphy and Dr. Jamie Saris who were attending a CDPC Conference in Kampala travelled to Tanzania for a few days and we introduced them to the partners who were collaborating with us on the project. On 11th July 2011, Young Scientists Tanzania was registered in BRELLA in Tanzania as an official independent not-for-profit Tanzanian company with Directors Dr Gozibert Kamugisha, Prof Eligius Lyamuya and myself.

Two weeks later, 25th July 2011 a grant agreement with Pearson Foundation was finalised and an MOU between Maynooth University and Pearson Foundation was agreed. The much needed incubation funding would become available shortly after this. Pearson Foundation would provide an immediate $45,000 for outreach work and the launch of YST in November 2011 and a further $35,000 would be available on 1st January 2012 to make preparations for YST2012.

Three days later, the 28th August 2011, the Ministry of Science Communication and Technology officially requested Young Scientists Tanzania to be launched on the first ever Science Week in Tanzania.

Securing these funds was vital as it allowed work on the project to continue independently of the CDPC resources.

Despite my genuine disappointment in not leveraging funding support in Ireland, I had been delighted with the encouragement on the ground in Tanzania from Anne Barrington, Irish Ambassador to Tanzania when we met to discuss my plans in May 2009. I also introduced the idea, to Tom Arnold, CEO, Concern Worldwide at that time in 2009 and he was highly supportive of the idea from the start. Concern Worldwide support was important as they provided office space in their Dar Es Salaam offices, and sponsored a YST Special Award at YST 2012. Tanzanian Deputy Country Director, Concern Worldwide. Gearoid Loibhead became Chairperson of the YST board. Concern still continued to sponsor a prize, even though they have ceased operations in Tanzania.

I will now ask Dr. Gozibert Kamugisha to take you through the next stages of introducing YST to Tanzania

Part 8

Thank you, Joseph. I will to continue our interesting story about how we introduced YST to Tanzania.

The funding from Pearson Foundation came at the right time as it allowed YST to recruit consultants to work on preparatory work in Tanzania for the science outreach programme and prepare for our first exhibition and launch. In September 2011, work began in earnest and consultants were recruited to produce our branding and logo design and publicity materials. We incorporated the colors of Tanzanian flag in our new logo. We shared our logo design and branding for approval with Dr. Scott and John Coman to make sure there was no issue with copyright. We produced our Factfile for Tanzania respecting the form of the YSTE Ltd template that governs the exhibition in Ireland. We also launched our website. Suddenly many things were happening and there was great momentum.

YST holds first press conference in October 2011 to announce First Exhibition

YST secured the Pearson Foundation funds, on the 28th August 2011. The Tanzanian Government agreed that YST would operate independently in Tanzania as a Private Sector Initiative. Then, the Ministry of Science Communication and Technology officially requested Young Scientists Tanzania to be launched on the first ever Science Week in Tanzania on 6th November 2011. This request would give Young Scientists Tanzania the opportunity of having a high-profile media launch.  

On the 1st September, the Science for Development outreach component was officially launched. YST Science Advisors, Dr. Brendan Doggett, Titus Mteleka,  Joseph and I scheduled mentoring workshops for selected schools in Dar es Salaam and Coast regions to showcase the potential of the Science for Development model. 

YST Science Outreach programme launched in September 2011

This was a really exciting time and reminded me of my time working with Joseph in Ireland on the similar Science for Development outreach programme. YST obtained permission from the regional and district education officers to conduct the programme in schools. We visited the schools and held our workshops and seminars with teachers and students. The foundations were in place for the YST exhibition and it was amazing proud time for all of us.

YST is finally launched after thirty months of groundwork.

YST First Exhibition launch on 6th November 2011 in Mnazi MMoja - Dar es salaam

Professor Mbarawa, Minister for Science, Communication and Technology officially launched Young Scientists Tanzania on the 6th Nov 2011 in Mnazi Mmoja in Dar Es Salaam. Eric Gregory, Pearson Foundation and Lorcan Fullam, Irish Ambassador to Tanzania were special guest speakers at the launch.  Four schools presented projects at the official launch in Mnazi Mmoja in the open air under the baking hot sun, some reports that it was close to 40 C. Each school presented projects from each of the four categories. The first YST exhibition was a great success. The Irish government through the Embassy in Tanzania extended some initial funding at this point.

Part 9

The secured funding from Pearson Foundation and Irish Aid allowed the employment of the first YST Coordinator, immediately after the launch in November 2011. Hatim Karimjee was invited to the launch and a few days latter, the Karimjee Javinjee Foundation would become a Gold Sponsor for YST2012 and provide $25,000 for the project. 

This was another amazing breakthrough. We now had the Tanzanian Government, Pearson Foundation, Irish Aid and Karimjee Javinjee Foundation on board for 2012. After the launch, work began immediately on preparations for the 2012 exhibition and YST commissioned a five-year strategic plan. A delegation from Tanzania attended the BTYSTE exhibition in Dublin in Jan. 2012. The delegation consisted of Dorothy Mwaluko MoEVD, Raphael Mmassi, COSTECH, Titus Mteleka and myself from the YST board and YST Coordinator, Deus Valentine. A delegation from Pearson London offices also attended the exhibition. It was great to catch up with Lorcan at the exhibition.

Shortly after this meeting in Dublin, Pearson Foundation agreed to become the main sponsor for YST 2012. They provided YST with a very generous grant-matching scheme. They would provide 100% matching of other sponsorship funds up to $150,000. This was greeted with great excitement. YST in 2012 could have a potential sponsorship of $300,000. The main objective of this sponsorship was to allow YST to expand to ten regions and have 100 schools in our Science Outreach Programme. These 100 schools would be able to present at the annual YST 2012 exhibition. 

Another funding request for YST 2012 was agreed with the Irish Embassy in Tanzania. The excitement was palpable. YST also secured sponsorship from Self Help Africa, Concern Worldwide, Children in Crossfire, Oxfam Ireland, Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation and ESB International. COSTECH also provided funding for a Special Award for YST 2012. Each of these sponsors had their funds doubled by Pearson Foundation!

The expansion of the Science Outreach Programme to the ten regions began. Regional Coordinators were recruited in the 10 regions and workshops, seminars and discussions were arranged for over one hundred school in the ten regions.

The second exhibition took place in the Diamond Jubillee Hall in Dar es Salaam on 23th October 2012 and the one hundred schools took part. YST 2012 was an incredible success and achievement. YST extended an invitation to Dr. Tony and Pauline Scott in recognition for the support YSTE Ltd had extended to the initiative for the use of template for the exhibition in Tanzania. Tony was full of praise for our achievement. He said, "should I have had closed my eyes, I would have thought I was standing at the exhibition in Dublin". 

Aisha Nduku, Monica Shinina, Nengai Moses, Kibosho Girls Secondary School, Kilimanjaro, were the overall YST 2013 winners with their project: A study of industrial fertilisers and increased nitrates in water in the Moshi region. As part of their prize, they travelled to Ireland in January to attend BTYSTE 2013. Fionnuala Gilsenan, who had just arrived in Tanzania as new Irish ambassador to Tanzania, Michael Doorly, Concern Worldwide, Dr. Jamie Saris and Dr. Noel Murphy Co-Chairs of the CDPC attended the exhibition. Prof Mbarawa, Minister for Science, Technology and Communication was special guest at the Awards Ceremony. Dr. Scott arranged a stand for the YST2012 winners to display their project at BTYSTE 2013.

YST 2012 Winners: Aisha Nduka, Monica Shinina and Nengai Moses

Several employees from Radar Education volunteered to assist in the lead up to the YST 2012 exhibition and the exhibition itself. In return, Radar Education was offered Gold Sponsorship at the annual exhibition in return for their “in-kind” support. Maynooth University were also offered this “in-kind-sponsorship” due to their support of the project.

YST 2012 Winners: Aisha Nduka, Monica Shinina and Nengai Moses in Ireland

In March 2013, I accompanied, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affaires and Trade, Joe Costello while on an official visit to Tanzania, to some YST outreach schools in Morogoro. He pledged his continued support for the project at a reception in the Embassy. 

However, in April 2013, the YST team got the bad news that Pearson Foundation would not be in a position to sponsor YST 2013 due to changes in their business strategy in Africa. To make things worse Board Members, Gearoid Loibhead and Dr. Monica Gorman also moved from Tanzania.

Despite these setbacks, YST2013 turned out to be a great success. Science for Development outreach programme was extended to 16 regions across Tanzania.  Jafari Ndagula and Fidel Samwel from Ilongero Secondary School were the overall winners with their project: A Drip Irrigation system using recycled materials. January Makamba was special guest at the exhibition. YST extended another invitation to Dr. Tony Scott and he attended the exhibition.

YST 2013 winners Jafari Ndagula and Fidel Samwel

Fortunately, in the lead up to the YST2013 exhibition, BG Tanzania became a gold sponsor for the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Category for YST 2013 and provided $25,000. At the YST 2013 exhibition BG Tanzania announced their plans to become the major sponsor of YST in 2014 and they announced that they would increase their sponsorship from $25,000 in 2013 to $250,000 for 2014. YST is very grateful to Colm Kearney and Kate Sullam from BG Tanzania who worked hard to deliver this much-needed support. A full time Project Manager was recruited in February 2014. Dr. Doggett would continue as Science Advisor and Judges Coordinator on a consultancy basis. Titus Mteleka would continue as Government Liaison Officer and Nabil Keratela would be employed as consultant accountant. Dr Kamugisha and I would continue as Science Advisor to YST.

Brian Nolan who was the contact person at the Irish Embassy in Tanzania was also a great supporter of the YST science for development model for that time. 

Finally, before I finish, I would like to make an important point. The great success of the project since 2009 revolves around the YST team. Keeping this hard working and passionate team together throughout the years has been a great achievement and one that has lead to the success of the organisation. Let there be no doubt about this. The YST management motto is simple and a well known one: train and develop the team well enough so that they could leave at any time but treat the team well enough so that they will want to stay. Thank you Joseph, Nabil and Dr. Brendan for your outstanding work. Thanks to all the YST team. I will now hand over to Dr. Brendan Doggett to talk about the success over the next five years.

Part 10

Thank you Joseph, Nabil and Kamugisha. YST 2014 was another great success and YST increased its Science Outreach Programme to 22 regions. The Awards Ceremony was televised live on national TV. It really was amazing to see how much the project has resonated in Tanzania. Dr Garib Bilal, Vice President of Tanzania was the Guest of Honour. Dhariha Amour Ali and Salma Khalfan Omar from Lumumba Secondary School, Zanzibar were the overall winners with their project: Changing Attitudes to control Flies in Tanzania

2013 Winners: Dhariha Amour Ali and Salma Khalfan Omar 

In 2015, YST became a truly national competition and a major success. YST had schools from all 30 regions participating in the YST Science Outreach Programme and the national YST exhibition. The retired President of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi was the special guest at the awards ceremony. Emma O’Kelly and Colm McCaughey from RTE, Ireland arrived in Tanzania and reported from the exhibition. Edwin Luguku and John Method, Mzumbe Secondary School, Morogoro were overall winners with their project: Reducing the use of plastic bags in Tanzania

RTE from Ireland make a documentary about YST

In 2015, YST was asked to support and assist Kenya to introduce the Science for Development model. Mr.Garvan McCann, Irish Embassy in Kenya attended the YST 2015 Exhibition to observe the judging, exhibition and awards ceremony. Over the next three years YST assisted Kenya set up the project.


2015 Winners: Edwin Luguka and John Method

In 2016 YST continued to grow as a national competition and outreach programme. The exhibition was held in the Julius Nyerere, International Conference Centre, Dar es Salaam. Schools from all 30 regions participated in the YST Science Outreach Programme and the national exhibition. Nadhra Mresa and Diana Sosoka, Mtwara Girls Secondary School were the overall winners with their project: Poverty Is No Longer An Issue For Women In Mtwara Region. Prof. Mbarawa, Minister for Science, Communication and Technology was special guest at the Awards Ceremony.

2016 Winners: Nadhra Mresa and Diana Sosoka

A delegation from Kenya attended the Exhibition to observe the judging, exhibition and awards ceremony.

Prosper Gasper and Erick Simon, St Jude’s Secondary School, Arusha were the overall YST 2017 winners, with their project: The use of Mobile Networks as a Fire Alert System. Prosper and Erick represented Tanzania at Expo Science in South Africa and won a Gold medal for their project in the Technology category. They also attended BTYSTE in Ireland in January 2018 as guests of Ai Electronics, Shannon, Ireland.

2017 Winners: Prosper Gasper and Erick Simon

For the third year, a delegation from Kenya Young Scientists attended the YST 2017 Exhibition to observe the judging, exhibition and awards ceremony.

In 2018 YST continued to grow in all regions and increased its profile across Tanzania. Prof. Joyce Ndalichako, Minister for Education was special guest at the exhibition. In 2018, Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation became the joint main sponsor of Young Scientists Tanzania along with Shell Exploration Tanzania.

Farida Kwingwa Mnyazi and Wilhelmina Martin Msoma, Msalato Girls Secondary School, Dodoma were the overall winners with their project: An exploration of salt content in the herb “Mbigiri” and suitability for animal feed. Farida and Wilhelmina represented Tanzania at Expo Science in South Africa and attended the BTYSTE in January 2019

2018 Winners: Wilhelmina Martin Msoma and Nasra Kwingwa Mnyazi 

Editha Philipo Barde   and Nasra Bakari Mpochi. Chief Dodo Secondary School, Manyara, were the YST 2019 overall winners with their project: Is Kivumbasi (Ocimun Canum) a solution for bee keepers. Editha and Nasra represented Tanzania at the Expo Science Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa. They won a Gold medal for the project in the Agriculture category. Minister Joyce Ndalichako was special quest at the Awards Ceremony.

2019 Winners: Nasra Bakari Mpochi and Edith Philipo Barde

YST has been a very rewarding and remarkable journey. I want to acknowledge the great work by our two YST Co-Founders who have worked and sacrificed so much to make sure Tanzania was the first country in Africa and the World, for that matter, to develop such an amazing Science for Development model. This is a remarkable achievement and I am so proud to be part of this team. 

In 2018, Dr Scott presents the Inaugural Founders Award to Joseph Clowry for his work in transferring Young Scientist to Tanzania and Kenya. 

Thank you Dr. Kamugisha and Joseph. I will hand you over to YST Project Manager,  Nabil who will talk about the Science for Development model and the huge operation logistics involved in delivering the outreach programme. Nabil has been involved with YST since 2011.

Part 11

Thank you, Brendan. It should be noted that Tanzania became the first country in Africa to develop this science for development model by combining two complementary components, a national Science Outreach Programme and an annual national Young Scientists Exhibition. They are delivering an amazing transformational Science for Development impact in Tanzania and a model that can be transferred to any developing country

Before we conclude it is worth mentioning a few important points about the Science for Development model in Tanzania.

It is only the actual Young Scientists Tanzania exhibition that is similar to the Irish model but the greatest and most important component of the Young Scientist Tanzania project is not the exhibition itself but the YST Science Outreach Programme. This is what my team spend most of the time working on. YST is about Science for Development and the two components work hand in hand to deliver a very symbiotic relationship. The Science Outreach and mentoring is a key element of the YST approach. YST Science Advisors and Regional Coordinators conduct regional workshops for students and teachers from all thirty regions in Tanzania. The workshops introduce teachers to context-based learner-centered scientific research and scientific methodologies. They build capacity for enthusiastic teachers to brainstorm project topics relating to Science for Development and to encourage students to undertake research outside the formal curriculum.

YST Teacher and students workshops

YST employs Science Advisors to deliver the YST Science Outreach Programme. YST Regional Coordinators visit schools in their region and support schools to develop their projects. The teachers and students are provided with a digital and hard copy of the YST project poster template which highlights sections representing key stages in the research process: introduction, method, results, analysis, conclusions, recommendations and abstract. This method breaks down project work into less intimidating blocks. Students are encouraged to use the YST Factfile that clarifies the rules and regulations that govern the exhibition. 

YST Regional Co-ordinators at in service training workshop 

As research progresses the students are encouraged to forward digitally any queries or research data, to the YST Science Advisors and Regional Coordinators. Any request for further assistance or advice is checked and the YST team liaises with the teacher. This method of transferring data, requesting information and sending draft poster templates to schools works smoothly once teachers and students became used to electronic communication. The team of YST Science Advisors and Regional Coordinators, advice the students and ensure the student projects make the progression from a research idea to a formal application to present their research at the Annual exhibition.

Following these mentoring visits, students then submit a formal four hundred-word project proposal along with a completed application form to YST before the agreed closing date. All projects are screened. All selected projects receive further mentoring and the judging guidelines are shared with all teachers and students, to give the necessary guidance on the preparations required before students present their projects at the exhibition in Dar es Salaam. YST liaise with regional coordinators or directly with teachers in some instances via school visits, phone and email communication 

In Tanzania, we target schools that have few resources, few science teachers and have few highly qualified teachers. YST is a grass-root science for development and we try to give opportunity to those students who are furthest behind.

Delivering the science for development model is a major challenge. YST provides all transport, food and accommodation costs incurred by the Regional Co-ordinators, teachers and students to attend workshops throughout the year. YST also provides all transport, food and accommodation costs for all participating teachers and students, regional coordinators and volunteers attending the annual exhibition. 

In the lead up to the YST exhibition alone, we employ 35 volunteers for 4 weeks. They work on accommodation, catering and transport for regional coordinators, teachers and students. Most of these students may never have travelled outside their region and have very few resources. Some may never have travelled on a bus. For sure most will never have stayed in a hotel.

We have our volunteers stationed at bus stations to meet every student on arrival in Dar. We accompany them safely to their hotels and constantly supervise the students and teachers for 24 hours a day for their 3 days in Dar es Salaam. We have to oversee and enforce a strict child protection policy. Nothing can be left to chance. Many of these 450 students and teachers will be on the road to the exhibition for 2 to 3 days to and from the exhibition and we have to organise catering and accommodation for all teachers and students, while travelling to Dar es Salaam from their regions. We manage all the travel logistics on Whatsapp groups. It is a military precision task and nobody rests until all 450 students and teachers have safely returned to their homes some 2/3 days after the exhibition. The same logistics applies to our regional workshops throughout the year. 

YST Board with Minister of Education, Science & Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako at YST 2019

Finally, Young Scientists Tanzania, award four university scholarships each year to winning projects. This allows students to go to university who may otherwise not be in a position to do so. To date, thirty-five students have been award third level scholarships by YST and KJF.

Hatim Karimjee presents Karimjee Javinjee Foundation Scholarships

YST delegation in Ireland with Dr Tony Scott - Co Founder Young Scientist Ireland

This is why we place such a strong emphasis on the YST Science Outreach Programme.

Tanzania will soon have a population of 60,000,000 +. In order to reach all schools in Tanzania, we will need to expand our YST Science Outreach Programme in each region. We will need to organise the screening of projects in all the regions in order to select the top projects to be showcase at the annual exhibition. 

Before I conclude: The great thing about The Young Scientists Tanzania model is the fact that it is transferrable to any developing country.

The Tanzanian model of combining the quality Science Outreach Programme with the YST exhibition is a model that works… Put simply without any exaggeration, Science for Development Works… 

Thank you Dr. Kamugisha, Dr Brendan and Joseph.

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The four of us would love to take questions from the audience.


Asante sana