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Arinaitwe Rugyendo - Ugandan

Updated: Jun 28

Founder of The Africa School of Innovations, Science, and Technology (ASIST)


Rugyendo is an Afro-optimist who believes in nurturing Science and Technology concepts in African children as the panacea to underdevelopment in resource-rich Africa.


In 2016, he founded the African School of Innovations, Science, and Technology (ASIST) which runs a STEM project named Young Engineers Uganda - an educational enrichment program designed to equip children aged between 4 and 15 with practical skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths, using a LEGO and Robotics curriculum. He believes in the program’s ability to nurture the next generation of Ugandan scientists, innovators, creative thinkers, problem solvers, and entrepreneurs.


He studied Political Science and Sociology at Makerere University in Uganda and obtained a Master of Science (Marketing) degree from the University of Salford in the UK. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Journalism and Communication at Makerere University in Uganda.


A Fellow of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme and the Crans Montana Forum, Rugyendo has journalism experience spanning 22 years and co-founded Uganda's most influential newspaper, The Red Pepper, published on www.redpepper.co.ug. To promote awareness around science and technology issues, he has launched an impact journalism project to promote science and technology communication and Artificial Intelligence News from Uganda using two platforms - www.mediascapenews.com and www.4irnews.org.


Challenge

The lack of a STEM Education mainstreaming policy and advocacy in Uganda.


Solutions

  • Founded Young Engineers to expose children to STEM concepts at an early age, starting with those aged 4 years using an Edutainment pedagogic approach to the teaching of practical skills in science and technology.

  • Young Engineers offers an internationally acclaimed LEGO and Robotics curriculum to enable kids to learn science concepts in a fun and edutainment way.

  • The program is implemented in schools at a nominal fee per term and there are plans to extend the program to vulnerable schools in partnership with the government.


Impact

  • 11 pre and primary schools have enrolled in the program where 377 children have been exposed to the curriculum since 2016. Having discerned science concepts in a fun way, it is hoped that the love for science inculcated in them will inspire them to find science subjects at the secondary school level easily, in order to seamlessly choose STEM careers at the tertiary level of education. These are the products that will drive the social and technological transformation of Africa in the next 20 years.


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