In 2013 LED Africa began the Science for All project. This project arose from the discovery that the Malawian rural secondary schools that were part of the Solar Lighting project had few mathematics and science textbooks and not even the most basic demonstration equipment.
From 2013 to 2017, $25,000 worth of math and science textbooks as well as basic science demonstration equipment was provided for the 21 Malawian secondary schools that were part of the Solar Lighting project.
In 2018 LED Africa produced a demonstration manual for science teachers. The demonstrations in the manual only require low cost materials that are available in the local markets. At this same time LED Africa began running workshops for secondary school science teachers, where the demonstration equipment is provided. These workshops are locally run by a Malawian secondary school science teacher.
In 2019 LED Africa began to promote science directly to the students by running a series of bottle rocket competitions at 7 schools in Malawi. For students in Africa such events are rare or nonexistent as the vast majority of African schools do not have the funds for such activities and teachers, who are typically grossly underpaid, cannot fund such activities themselves. These hands-on events are meant to get students excited about science and for them to see science as more than just pure theory.
Our initial event was a water bottle rocket competition and continues to this day. In this competition, 32 teams of 3 to 4 students are given the basics of how a rocket works and then go on to construct their own bottle rocket. Teams go one on one against each other until a winner is declared. The event is very exciting for the entire school! Top teams receive some prize money which of course adds to the excitement.
Bottle Rockets 2019
The following are photos from bottle rocket competitions that were held at 7 schools in Malawi in July 2019: