Spotlight On Hope Film Camp

Spotlight On Hope is free-of-cost and offers a unique and creative outlet through film and animation instruction for pediatric and young adult cancer patients and their families. Spotlight On Hope brings excitement, enjoyment and relaxation to patients through film production, enhancing their mental well-being, self-worth and skills during a particularly stressful and traumatic time of their lives. After 8-10 weekend film workshops have been carried out over the course of the year, a grand red carpet screening showcasing all the films is held for the participants, their families and friends, and the community to enjoy.

TyphGen; A Better Point Of Care Diagnostic For Typhoid Fever

Typhoid remains a major public health threat in Uganda contributing to 36% of all fever-related illnesses. It was responsible for the outbreak that affected over 1,000 individuals within Kampala city in 2015. Typhoid is a curable disease with good treatment outcomes if the diagnosis is made early. However, in Uganda there are major challenges with diagnostics. The most widely used test (Widal test) has low accuracy (5.7%) and the World Health Organization has discouraged its use, while the gold standard test (Bacterial culture) takes several days to produce results, is expensive and not readily available. This ultimately leads to delay of appropriate treatment, long waiting hours and inappropriate use of antibiotics that could potentially lead to drug resistance. The Big Idea is to develop TyphGen, a point of care diagnostic that uses DNA detection techniques to diagnose Typhoid in 90 minutes with >90% accuracy at an estimated cost of $12 per test.

Carenea: Redefining the Storage of Cornea Transplants

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The standard for corneal storage requires preservation in solutions at 4 degrees Celsius for a maximum of 7-14 days. In developing countries, eye banks struggle with proper refrigeration and the high demand for corneas. They often resort to importing corneas, which are costly and have a shorter shelf life due to transport time. As a result, there is a critical shortage of corneas with 1 cornea for every 70 individuals in need. Micronanobubbles (MNBs) are gaseous vehicles that can carry oxygen within solutions for a prolonged period of time. In transplant solutions, MNBs may meet the oxygen demand of corneal cells, increasing cell survival and extending corneal shelf life. Increased oxygenation may also decrease the need for refrigeration as cells at room temperature, which have higher metabolic demand, would have enough oxygen. If eye banks in developing countries have MNBs, more patients may get the care they need.

Common Objects, Uncommon Purpose: Fighting Unconscious Bias with Art

Despite our best intentions, everyday discrimination bubbles up from unconscious biases we don’t realize we have. “Common Objects, Uncommon Purpose” will address this by raising awareness, concern, and knowledge of unconscious bias. In particular, it will target skeptics who may not think bias is a problem. The campaign will use a mixed-media approach that employs humor, cartoons, interactive art installations, and artfully designed practical objects. This project will use public spaces, social media, and our daily lives to start an open dialogue about unconscious bias and its effects. It will empower community members to propel the campaign forward with art, fact, & tact.

Bosco The Inclusive Forest

Sophisticated technologies, such as virtual reality’s (VR) immersive experiences, allow one to build effective tools to challenge implicit discriminatory bias. This project includes: 1) An art installation: two participants experience stories of racial and gender discrimination in VR. Personal and bio-medical data from the participant’s reactions are collected and visualized. Participants are encouraged to record their own story of injustice and discrimination. 2) A data visualization design project organizes and analyzes the personal, biomedical data and audio recordings, draws objective conclusions and elaborates strategies for corrective measures. The virtual forest is a source of narratives, collaborations and interactions, a data visualization space, and artistic experience in VR. In order to create a culture of inclusion and tolerance, the main goal is to make an impact by allowing participants to “see” their discriminatory bias and feel compassion toward minorities.

Special Education Professional Enrichment Training

Witnessing the long-standing and urgent social need for accessible and affordable professional training in special and inclusive education in Mainland China, the Special Education Professional Enrichment Training (SEPET) Team will establish a learning channel for special education professionals through China’s most popular mobile social application “WeChat.” This channel can hold mobile distance training courses and help disseminate open resources, functioning as a mobile resource hub with regard to inclusion of students with special educational needs in mainstream public schools within China and beyond. Through continuous and effective professional training and growth, course takers are enabled to better facilitate and ensure inclusion of school-aged children with disabilities in mainstream public schools by, in particular, tackling safety issues through behavior intervention and management.



Across Burkina Faso and Africa, the inadequacy of skills in the workplace greatly contributes to the non-utilization of the continent’s human potential. This issue, rooted in the inadequacy of the education students receive in schools, explains their low employability and lack of skills to innovate. LEAD emerges in this context with a mission to prepare students for the workplace in Africa. The school will offer a unique curriculum aimed at immersing students in general education, as well as practical and technical education, all in a framework focused on developing entrepreneurial thought and action. LEAD will nurture students who have the skills required for successful entry in the workforce, and who will use their entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to innovate on the technical and practical skills they learn in the school. LEAD aims to graduate not just qualified job seekers for Burkina Faso and the continent, but also job creators.

Opi-Aid: A Diagnostic for Better Opioid Screening

Opi-Aid is a protein-based diagnostic for cheaper and more sensitive opioid detection. With over 289 million opioid prescriptions written each year in the U.S. and the public’s eye on the “silent epidemic” of addiction, there is a growing need for drug testing to better control the misuse and abuse of opioids. Currently, opioid testing involves an immunoassay screen; however, the screening antibodies are primarily designed to bind morphine and its derivatives, resulting in large false positive and false negative rates and leading to unnecessary confirmatory testing. The Opi-Aid leverages the binding properties of the opioid receptor; thus, this technology is sensitive not only to all current opioid drugs, but also to future opioid derivatives and analogs. In streamlining and improving the opioid testing process, Opi-Aid will help providers and patients safely alleviate and manage pain.

Coordinated Emergency Response System

Uganda does not have a dedicated emergency response number (i.e. 911 in the US) and the government has time and again failed to set up an adequate and reliable public ambulance service resulting in slow emergency response times, additional injury to casualties and an altogether diminished chance of survival in critical cases. The Coordinated Emergency Response System (CERS) uses USSD short codes to allow casualties/witnesses in emergency situations to access help using any type of phone. Punching the short code into a phone and following a few prompts allows the user to access a trained ride-sharing taxi operator who quickly transports them to the closest health facility. CERS’ system has the potential to impact at least 40,000 Ugandans who do not make it to the hospital within the “golden hour” by providing a fast, safe and appropriate means of transport.