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D-Prize Global Health Oxygen Challenge



Provide maintenance for oxygen concentrators in rural and peri-urban Sub-Saharan African health clinics and hospitals

Half the world lacks access to medical oxygen – a basic and critical treatment for numerous ailments. Oxygen concentrators are machines that produce medical oxygen in low-resource settings and are being distributed at a large scale – yet without maintenance, many will soon be at risk of breaking down. Can you develop a team of technicians to service existing oxygen concentrators? D-Prize will award up to $20,000 to help teams launch an initial three-month pilot of this idea.


  • The Global Competition launches on September 8th, 2020.
  • Early Submission Deadline: October 18th, 2020 at midnight PT (pacific time)
  • Regular Submission Deadline: November 8th, 2020 at midnight PT (pacific time)
  • Extension Deadline (limited to 200 people who register): November 29th, 2020 at midnight PT (pacific time)

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Humanities & Social Sciences

Mak develops new model to aid teaching of Maths in Lower Secondary Curriculum



Makerere University has developed a new Mobile Application to aid the teaching of Mathematics using performing arts in Lower Secondary Curriculum.

“Mathematics is very important in life. The Government Policy on Science Education declared mathematics compulsory for lower secondary school learners as the driver of all sciences. However, the performance of students in mathematics is inadequate. Most students fear mathematics. Others believe mathematics is very hard,” said Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza, the Principal Investigator of the project.

She noted that despite numerous government interventions, including improving teachers’ conditions, teaching facilities and infrastructure, learners’ performance of Mathematics is still not impressive. 

Principal Investigator – Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza

To address this problem, Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza working with a team of researchers from Makerere University and the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) focused on using the power of performing arts, which includes music, dance, drama, story-telling, and visual-audio arts to make the studying of mathematics more captivating and enjoyable.

The research team developed the MusickingMaths App to enhance the teaching of Mathematics through music. The App is an interactive digital platform between the learner and the knowledge facilitator to support the learners in creating songs about mathematical concepts learned. 

Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza explained that the created songs are shared with the knowledge facilitator for evaluation and feedback on the learners’ performance of the mathematical concepts.

She made the remarks during the dissemination of research findings of the project titled Integrating Performing Arts to Enhance Teaching/Learning Mathematics in Lower Senior Secondary Schools in Uganda (IPATELMASS) at Makerere University on June 25, 2024.

Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza explained that the new model is an intervention to improve the teaching/learning of mathematics in lower secondary schools in Uganda. She pointed out that IPATELMASS is a participatory action-based research project whose main objective was to inform the development of an Integrated Performing Arts-Mathematics Teaching Learning (IPAMTeL).

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the collaborative venture brought together researchers from the performing arts and mathematics experts from Makerere University, the National Curriculum Development Centre, National Teachers’ Colleges and mathematics teachers from Mubende. 

“This Project speaks to Uganda’s National Development Plan IV, which attributes the poor economic performance to the limited application of science, innovation, and technology,” Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza elaborated.

The findings of this research, which was conducted using learners from Mubende Army Secondary School and Kitenga Secondary School in Mubende District, indicate that learners improved in comprehension, critical-thinking skills, concentration span, and memory retention of mathematical concepts and principles.

Other outcomes include improved understanding: learners were better at comprehending mathematical concepts through visualisation and experiencing abstract ideas through performance and dramatization, learners improved other intrinsic values, such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and tolerance.

Prof.Nannyonga-Tamusuza told participants that the learners developed positive attitudes towards Mathematics.

“Learners’ attitudes shifted, making them more positive and open to learning mathematics,” Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza added.

Learners and their teacher from Mubende Army School

This was re-affirmed by the learners from Mubende Army School who testified that their participation in the research project completely changed their negative perception about mathematics. “Participating in the Makerere University project proved to us that mathematics can be taught anytime (in the morning, afternoon and evening hours).  Previously, we thought math was so hard, that it could only be taught in the morning hours.”

Consequently, the learners from Mubende Army School appreciated Makerere University for integrating performing arts into the teaching of math, which has made learning enjoyable.

The research team came up with a number of recommendations including; the need for teacher training and professional development and specialised training for teachers to integrate performing arts into mathematics instruction effectively. As such, resources and funding must be allocated to professional development programs that provide teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Chief Guest Hajji Ismael Mulindwa, Director of Basic and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports

Additionally, researchers recommended: further research on how student learning and achievement can be assessed or evaluated in arts-integrated mathematics education, research and development; the need to support ongoing research and evaluation of the effectiveness of arts-integrated mathematics education and community engagement; as well as policies that encourage partnerships between schools, arts organisations, and community stakeholders so as to enhance arts-integrated education.

The Principal, College of Humanities and Social Science (CHUSS), Prof. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala who represented Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe appealed to the Government of Uganda to provide more research funds saying times have changed due to technological advancement. 

Prof. Nambalirwa Nkabala proclaimed that the launch of the model that integrates performing arts into the learning of math, was testimony that both the sciences and humanities can work together to make the world a better place.

She commended Prof. Nannyonga-Tamusuza and the research team from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for taking on a multi-disciplinary approach to research that brought on board scientists, mathematicians, as well as partners in the education sector namely the National Curriculum Development Centre and the schools.

She appreciated the research team for coming up with a solution to address the inadequate performance of students in mathematics.

“With research that seeks to improve the studying of mathematics, Makerere University is fully endowed to make contribution towards the development of Uganda,” Prof. Nambalirwa Nkabala stated.

Launching the IPAMTeL model, the Chief Guest Hajji Ismael Mulindwa, Director of Basic and Secondary Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports applauded Makerere University for taking the lead in solving a national problem.

Part of the audience following proceedings

“I encourage our schools to emulate Makerere to spice up mathematics,” he guided. “I appeal to researchers to do more research in the education sector so as to inform policy.”

Hajji Mulindwa hailed the University Management and the Grants Management Committee for putting the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund to good use.

On behalf of the National Curriculum Development Centre, Dr. Bernadette Nambi, the Director Curriculum Review and Instructional Material Development said the model will not only enhance teaching in the lower curriculum, but also contribute to holistic learning. She noted that the model makes the student the centre of learning and helps teachers to bring mathematics closer to the learners through making it easier for learners to remember concepts.

The Academic Registrar of Makerere University, Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi implored the different units at Makerere University to work together to bring the best out of each discipline. “This is the away to go. I believe the time is right for the different departments to work together,” Prof. Buyinza Mukadasi said.

He appealed to the university lecturers to invest more time in mindset change and create awareness about the need for the same among the teaching class and community at large.

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MIT Solve’s 2024 Global Challenges



Some of the equipment commissioned at the Innovation Pod, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Open Call For Solutions

Solve’s Global Challenges seek exceptional innovators who are using technology to solve today’s most pressing problems. Submissions are open until April 18.

Those selected become a Solver team and join our nine-month support program, receive access to funding in grants and investments, join a powerful network of impact-minded leaders, receive coaching and strategic advice from experts, and gain exposure in the media, among many other benefits.

Since 2016, over 20,000 solutions headquartered in over 180 countries have been submitted in response to Solve’s Global Challenges. We’re now proud to support a diverse group of 299 Solver teams, who have collectively impacted over 190 million lives worldwide. These teams are 62% women-led and headquartered in 59 different countries.

Apply to an open challenge

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UN General Assembly President visits Mak Innovations Hub



Makerere University was yet again privileged to host the 78th UN General Assembly President H.E. Dennis Francis, who visited the newly equipped Innovation Pod/Hub to see the ideas that students have turned into innovative products.  

H.E. Dennis Francis, on January 20, 2024, challenged innovators to convert their brilliant ideas into meaningful assets, emphasizing that this is what intellectual property is about. “It is about creating value where there was none,” H.E. Dennis said.  

Intellectual property, he said, can be traditional knowledge passed on from one generation to another as well as traditional herbs. “Africans are by nature imaginative and creative, so I have no doubt that this center will contribute to not just innovation but to the development of Uganda, Africa, and the global south,” he said.

UN General Assembly President H.E. Dennis Francis (3rd Right), H.E. Elsie Attafuah (2nd Left) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP -Uganda) Resident Representative and Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) on a tour of the Innovations Hub on Saturday 20th Jan 2024.
UN General Assembly President H.E. Dennis Francis (3rd Right), H.E. Elsie Attafuah (2nd Left) – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP -Uganda) Resident Representative and Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Left) on a tour of the Innovations Hub on Saturday 20th Jan 2024.

The Makerere University Innovations Hub, which was recently established with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is set to start driving the commercialization of innovations and enterprises resulting from the research undertaken by scholars and students at Makerere University.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, welcomed his H.E. Dennis Francis to Makerere University and expressed optimism that the innovation pod would transform innovators within and outside the university. Prof. Nawangwe welcomed the general public to use the facility, citing the first diesel engine made in Uganda by artisans in Entebbe. He said the artisans worked with the staff of Makerere University on the project.

While welcoming the UN General Assembly President, the UNDP Country Representative, Elsie Attafuah, shared with him some of the developments UNDP has been engaged in, such as the ICT hub in Nakawa, Uganda’s digital transformation road map, as well as other regional initiatives. She hoped the Innovation Pod would facilitate the creation of thousands of startup companies, create jobs and business value, and ensure Africa is more competitive.

One of the EC Machines installed in the Innovations Pod

The Makerere University Innovations Pod is one of 13 pods created and supported by UNDP across the African Continent, under what the organization calls the “Tibukutu Initiative.”

Commissioned on January 9, 2024, the research facility is expected to drive technological advancements in the country. The Innovation Hub aims to provide a collaborative space for entrepreneurs and researchers to develop groundbreaking solutions. The hub will offer state-of-the-art facilities and resources to support the growth of startups and facilitate knowledge sharing. It will also foster networking opportunities and mentorship programs to help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of starting and scaling their businesses. By providing access to cutting-edge technology and expertise, the Innovation Hub will empower entrepreneurs and researchers to push the boundaries of innovation in the country. Additionally, the hub will serve as a catalyst for job creation and economic growth by attracting investors and fostering collaboration between startups and established businesses.

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