EnviroSense Hack Series To Democratize Science In Nigerian Communities

The EnviroSense Hack, a series of science outreaches to schools was launched in Abuja in October 2019 as part of efforts to increase students’ interests in STEM subjects. The month long programme aimed to connect theoretical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) concepts to real world applications and builds on the Do-It-Yourself/Do-It-With Others model of open science and hardware in a fun, collaborative and engaging way.

Each outreach included an introduction to open science workshop for teachers and a biohack for the students. 49 teachers and 139 students participated in the programme which held in Karu, Gudu and Dutse communities in Abuja, Nigeria.

As part of the Science Hack, students built community microscopes and took turns to identify and test samples from their environment including water and plants. They also built and assembled DIY Lego and paper light Spectrometers. The spectrometers are helpful for students of physics, basic science, fine arts and introductory technology to understand the concept of colors in light.

Mr. Obasegun Ayodele, Technical Lead at Vilsquare said, “We are positive that this series will spark curiosity in our young participants and get them more interested in how science and technology can be applied to daily living. The need to democratize science and make its tools, data and knowledge accessible to users all over the world, irrespective of economic backgrounds can no longer be ignored.”

The EnviroSense Hack Series is implemented by Vilsquare Makers’ Hub and Meluibe Foundation, with support from The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (aka Public Lab) – an international non-profit organization that facilitates collaborative, open source environmental research and Make: Magazine – an American bi-monthly publication that focuses on Do-It-Yourself/Do-Other projects involving computers, robotics, woodwork, etc.

Young scientists in Karu Abuja building a DIY Lego Light Spetrometer as part of the Envirosense Hack Series organised by Vilsquare Makers’ Hub and Meluibe Foundation in October 2019.

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