Engineering a Better World

Information for STEM Activity Leaders

The Africa Prize resource box is a series of activities, practical tasks and discussion points that invite young learners to explore the role that young engineers and entrepreneurs play in developing innovations that will bring social and environmental benefits to different countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The resource box pulls together science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects through thematic learning and collaborative activities. It has been designed to provide practical and contextualised applications to demonstrate the role that STEM-based learning plays in global real-world engineering scenarios.

Download the core guide here. 

How to use this resource

This resource is divided into three main sections:

1. Setting the scene

These are tasks, activities and discussion points that provide context and background to support young learners’ understanding of the physical characteristics of Africa, and background on the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As part of the Africa Prize, each of the engineering entrepreneurs demonstrates how their innovation meets one or more of the 17 SDGs as set out by the United Nations in 2015, these have been included as a running theme throughout the resource. More information about the SDGs and ideas for activities that could be used to introduce them to learners can be found on page 12.

The starter activities are designed to motivate, engage and raise awareness of the environment in which the core STEM learning tasks are set, as well as continuing to bridge the gap between STEM subjects and other areas of the school curriculum.

2. ‘In the box’ activities

The ‘in the box’ activities explore individual Africa Prize innovations in more detail.

The activities are UK curriculum-linked and could be taught as topics as part of timetabled lessons or as enrichment activities.

As each of these activities focuses on an innovation from an engineer and entrepreneur from a specific country, each activity has starter tasks that encourage pupils to develop a stronger understanding of the local environment that the innovation has been designed for.

3. World’s largest lesson

Inspired by the engineers and entrepreneurs, pupils will work together to plan, design and engineer a product, system or technology that will improve the experiences of those in their community.

They will demonstrate how their innovation works towards one of the SDGs, showing that although their design is for their local community, they are conscious, global citizens.

Once pupils have completed their project, they can share their work with other young people around the world as part of the ‘world’s largest lesson’.

We suggest that you and your pupils work on this challenge after they have completed a selection of tasks and challenges from the ‘in the box’ activities mentioned above. The challenge is designed to be carried out over several hours, which could be a whole STEM day or one hour a week over the course of a school term.

Pupils can work towards a CREST award as they journey through this project. More information about the CREST award can be found on page 6 of the resource.

Overview video guide

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Overview video of the Engineering a Better World resource.

Unpacking the box video guide

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Watch this video guide showing all material included in the resource box.

Setting the scene video guide

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Video guide explaining the starter activities which set the scene and provide context for the rest of the activities within this resource set.

'In the box' activities

The 'In the box' activities explore individual Africa Prize innovations in more detail. 

The activities and challenges bridge several subjects across the curriculum, not just STEM subjects, however for ease of reference these have been linked to to one or two specialism only. 

Age group is also given just as a guide and activities can be extended or broken down depending on the group.

Activities, descriptions, curriculum links and downloads 

  Activity Innovation Subject Age group Curriculum link Video guides
Majik Water

Beth Koigi
Beth Koigi is a project planner from Kenya. She has developed an innovation that harvests water from the atmosphere in especially arid areas. She then sells affordable and clean water to local communities.

7 - 11 

Identify the part played by evaporation and condensation in the water cycle and associate the rate of evaporation with temperature.  Majik Water video guide
Maths 7 - 11 Use the term profit and make calculations to generate this.
The Vertical Farm

Paul Matovu 
Paul Matovu is a forester and environmental scientist from Uganda. He has developed The Vertical Farm, a farm-in-a-box vertical garden to grow leafy greens in an urban setting. Science 11 - 14  Contributing to experiments and investigations to develop understanding of models of matter. The Vertical Farm 
Maths 9 - 14 Calculate volume and surface area of cuboids. 
Design Technology 7 - 11  Enhance design skills to solve problems and construct models.

Nges Njungle 

Nges Njungle is a computing engineer from Cameroon. He is the founder of Muzikol, an online music marketing and social media application designed to meet the career needs of musicians. Science 9 - 14 Learn about frequencies of sound waves and sound produced by vibrations in objects. Muzikol
Maths 7 - 14 Recognise arithmetic sequences and generalise.
Science 9 - 14 Use a range of electrical components to make a circuit for a specific purpose.
Smart Havens Africa

Anne Rweyora
Anne Rweyora is an industrial engineer from Uganda. Anne and her team are developing affordable and sustainable housing options for vulnerable people in Uganda. Science 9 - 14 Use a range of electrical components to make a variety of circuits for differing purposes.   
Science 9 - 14 Represent circuits using symbols and describe the transfer of energy around the circuit.  Smart Havens

​Safiatou Nana

Safiatou Nana is a renewable energy engineer from Burkina Faso. She and her team have developed a solar powered irrigation system for desert areas in Burkina Faso.

Maths 11 - 14 Construct and interpret bar charts and pie charts.
Maths 11 - 14 Show how quantities that are related can be increased or decreased proportionally.
Science 11 - 14 Use a range of electrical components to make a circuit for a specific.