Keep up to date

Join our mailing list for regular updates on our work by email or 'like' us on Facebook.


What is TASTE?

We are a charity aiming to transform science education in rural Uganda by giving students the chance to perform experiments in lessons.

On this site you can find out why this is important, and how our mobile teaching laboratory will help to improve the situation.

Latest news

TASTE ‘item of the week’ fundraising appeal

Here at TASTE, we are getting really excited about launching our TASTE ‘item of the week’ fundraising appeal and wanted to take a minute to tell you all about it.

For those of you that are new to us at TASTE, we are a charity with a vision to transform practical science education in Uganda. To do this, we travel by mobile science truck to individual schools with the equipment and training needed to teach students practical science skills – find out more about why this is important here. A trial trip ran in 2013 and the response was fantastic – by the end of the year we had reached 1,400 students across Uganda making a huge difference to their education and futures.

Following this success, we returned to the UK to reflect on everything we had learnt and started putting plans in place to launch the mobile science truck again by January 2016, with the aim to change the futures of even more school children.

So far, we have recruited a fantastic new team (see our blog post about our new team here!) that are working very hard to make sure all the preparations are ready in time. They have all be labouring away corresponding with the schools, organising the teaching sessions and designing the practical lessons to make sure all the students get the most out of the lessons.

We now just need to make sure we have all the funds to run the teaching during 2016 – this can mean everything from supplying training to local teachers, buying necessary resources or running exam preparation sessions. In order to do this, we are launching a TASTE ‘item of the week’ fundraising appeal – every week we will be raising funds for a specific item or resource needed to run the teaching in Uganda. What do you think you could donate to – could you help us by funding the training of a laboratory assistant to teach in the local schools, or perhaps you could donate box of cockroaches for one of the practical lessons?!

We have got loads of different items we will be raising money for so make sure you are following us on Facebook and Twitter to find out what the item is for each week.  Our first item of the week will be launched next Friday, 13 February.

We would be incredibly grateful for any donations you are able to make – TASTE is operated in the UK entirely by volunteers, which means all donations go directly to funding the operation of TASTE on the ground in Uganda. And don’t forget, if you are a UK tax-payer please add gift-aid to your donation too – it does not cost you anything and just allows us tax-relief designed for charities – every little helps!

Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list on our main webpage too for updates!

World Science Day 2014

The team at TASTE are really excited by this year’s theme for UNESCO’s World Science Day for Peace and Development: Quality Science Education: ensuring a sustainable future for all.

Our mobile science lab brings practical science education to 1400 students in rural Uganda, who would otherwise be limited to learning by rote words on a blackboard. Engaging, high-quality science education is essential for the sustainable development of any country, because it allows young people to aspire and grow up to be engineers, doctors, researchers or inventors.

Sustainability is one of our key principles at TASTE, so in support of this year’s World Science Day, we wanted to share three ways that we commit to making our impact as sustainable and wide-reaching as possible:

1. Capacity building, not aid

teacher training stopwatch

We do not donate science equipment or money directly to schools. Instead, we visit schools with our well-equipped mobile lab and trained, enthusiastic staff, who can engage both students and their teachers with our lessons. We visit each school around ten times a year to deliver jam-packed lessons, workshops and mock exams. Through these we are building up a relationship with teachers and students over time. This ensures that the results of our work do not end when we leave a school at the end of the day.

We also provide regular teacher training workshops for free,  introducing teachers from our partner schools to the TASTE practical lessons we would be teaching for the upcoming term. Many teachers that we work with have very little experience of practical science, and they value this opportunity to develop their own skills and experience in a way that can benefit their students. In the picture above, TASTE’s lab assistant John Kasujja shows Hakiza Francis, a biology teacher, how to read a digital stopwatch.

2. Giving girls the same opportunities


Why is gender equality in science important? Why particularly in Africa? Although many Ugandans are strong advocates for gender equality, there is still a long way to go – particularly in scientific fields. While interviewing a candidate for the post of TASTE teacher, we asked how he would ensure that girls are fully included in our lessons. His reply was that there was no need, because girls are naturally not good at science. Unfortunately his view is not an uncommon one in Uganda.

So what are we doing about it? We focus on gender equality in all aspects of our work. For example, our teachers and lab assistants are trained to alternate between girls and boys when asking students to speak in class. All of our staff are encouraged to actively challenge gender stereotypes if they are brought up in our lessons. Recently the UK government launched a campaign encouraging girls into maths and physics, Your Life,  which TASTE would like to see replicated in Africa.

For now, TASTE lessons are interwoven with applications to the Ugandan daily life so that everyone can relate to them. For example, most Ugandan children help their families with cooking on charcoal stoves and are therefore familiar with the concept of heat. We draw on this for our first year lesson on conduction and insulation, linking experiments to safety tips in the kitchen. We also hold career workshops bringing together students from different schools. There is strong evidence in the recent King’s College London ASPIRES report suggesting that to be able to appreciate science, young people need to know what careers science can offer them. Our careers speakers also draw on their own experiences, explaining  how science gives people transferable skills useful for many careers, not just in science.

3. Open and replicable

We are committed to sharing all our resources freely – whether it is logistical information about how to run a mobile lab, maps of the local area, or the lesson plans for our practical syllabus.

If you have ever heard of off-road driving, there you will have an idea of what we mean by off-the-map teaching. TASTE teaches at schools that are not on Google Map or even known to the local education authorities. They are only usually known by local villagers and TASTE found them through word-of-mouth and a motorcycle.  So that the whole world knows about them, we continue to share information about these schools as well as adding their GPS coordinates to OpenStreetMap.

With a simple model that enables different schools to use the same resources and expertise, TASTE is ultimately an idea that we encourage others to take up to help their local area.  All you need is a science truck, science teachers and a vision for boosting an  economy by developing its people’s skills, knowledge and aspiration. Like a sister version of the Institute of Physics’ Lab in a Lorry for the UK, this can set a new growth in science education for the whole of Africa. We also often get emails from different African countries asking for tips on how to run a mobile lab, and we tell them what we know. See one of our partner schools’ head teacher Samuel on TASTE for a candid account of how we began.

To enable this growth, TASTE is preparing to publish our lesson plans online as open data.  We pride ourselves on lessons that are not only tailored to the challenges of a developing country, but also illustrate scientific theory, instruct on scientific thinking and inspire tomorrow’s leaders. To do this, we work with qualified teachers, professional scientists and sister charities such as the LightYear Foundation.  As we are continually improving our lessons to better engage young people facing ‘third world problems’, we are always looking out for ideas, supporters and volunteers. Do get in touch –

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

A TASTE tea-party!

Chloe Vince has recently joined TASTE as part of the new volunteer team. She has been fundraising by holding a charity tea party for friends and family.

When it came to coming up with fundraising ideas for TASTE, the obvious answer was to start in the tastiest way we know how… baking!

At the beginning this month we held the first (of possibly many more!) TASTE tea-parties. After many evenings of frantic whipping, dipping, mixing and baking ahead of the day, we sat down with our family and friends on a Saturday afternoon to a delicious array of cakes, scones, sweets and sandwiches.


We asked all of our guests to donate to charity what they thought the afternoon was worth, and with huge thanks to our very generous family and friends, we managed to raise a grand total of £275. An afternoon very well spent!

We will be launching some ‘how to’ packs in the next few months with some hints and tips of how you can run your own fundraising events at home or at work, so do keep your eyes peeled for updates. In the meantime, let us know any fundraising events you have had – we would love to see your pictures! Send them to us on Facebook or Twitter @tasteforscience.

Welcome to the new TASTE team!

A lot of changes have been happening at TASTE-HQ in the last few months, and we are looking forward to catching you up with all our new developments over the coming weeks. The first big announcement to make is that we have now finished recruiting for our first ever ‘brand-new-and-shiny’ executive team!

A number of the original trustees for TASTE have come to their penultimate years of their demanding PhDs and have left the trustee board so they can focus fully on their studies. The remaining trustees, Amy and Lina, have since been busy recruiting for a new executive team to take TASTE forward.

So without further ado *drumroll please* voila! … Here is the brand new team!


The new team members come from really diverse backgrounds, from finance to marketing, and from fundraising to teaching, with each member contributing their own expertise and skills to the future of TASTE. The one thing they all have in common however, is the shared vision of our work; ‘to create a generation of scientifically literate and enthusiastic school leavers with the potential to transform Africa.’

The first-ever new team meeting took place this weekend at the Southbank Centre. Unfortunately two of the members could not make the meeting, but the rest of us spent a really successful afternoon plotting and scheming about our future plans. We are really looking forward to sharing these plans with you – as well as everything else we discussed – on the blog over the next few weeks. We have also been fundraising in a really tasty way (hint!) so be sure to keep checking back to find out about everything that has been going on!