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Yiya Airscience

place Uganda

Promoting resilience & creative problem-solving in African youth through experiential STEM education

Yiya AirScience is an innovative new remote learning model designed for young people in last-mile populations across Africa. It is a virtual classroom which provides interactive, high-quality science and engineering lessons to youth who interact remotely with a live radio broadcast via an offline learning app that runs on basic keypad phones and doesn't require internet.

HundrED 2023


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

Web presence






Target group
June 2022
Lack of access to quality education for millions of youth who don’t have access to internet, smart devices, or classrooms is the biggest threat to our future, and the greatest lever for change.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Only 35% of children in Uganda complete Primary School. Over 100 million children in Africa are not in school. The majority of these young people don't have access to physical schools, money for schooling, the internet, or a smart device. For girls, the hurdles are even higher: 35% in sub-Saharan Africa are married before 18. Girls carry a heavy time burden of domestic work and agricultural labor.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Yiya AirScience is an innovative remote learning model designed for children in last mile populations that uses resources and technology already available to them.
In Yiya’s virtual classroom, students interact remotely with a live lesson being broadcast over the radio via an offline learning app that runs on basic keypad (feature) phones. Yiya’s interactive, high-quality science and engineering lessons require no access to the internet or smart devices.
Yiya’s teachers and designers can see every interaction on the app, and respond to learner needs as the course progresses. Students also get feedback in the app as they answer questions, and with weekly progress reports. In each course students build a technology that solves a need in their community.
Yiya’s content is designed to increase learner competencies and scientific curiosity! Our project-based lessons equip young people with the skills to solve problems in their local communities and to change the status quo of poverty.

How has it been spreading?

Our app has over 53,000 unique users, and has been accessed over 1.25 million times in the past year.
Preliminary research findings from Carnegie Mellon University show that youth who participate in Yiya AirScience show increased interest both in taking more STEM classes and in pursuing a STEM career, as well as improvement in their resilience when problem solving. Our work has been recognized by Jacob's Foundation, MIT Solve, the AU, and CNN.
We are working to grow our impact with an expanded platform called Yiya AirLearning, providing content from client organisations to create a more complete learning experience.
We are also looking for strategic partnerships to increase the number of girls in our program and to develop productive relationships with governments in sub-Saharan Africa.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Users opt in by dialing the USSD code (*284*19#) from a Ugandan number, and filling out the registration questions.
You can also learn more by watching our impact video, or the CNN feature on the website.
Organisations can contact our Chief Innovations Officer, or on Telephone +256 783 520204, if they are interested in using Yiya AirLearning to expand their impact.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

It seems easily scalable since they are offering the courses through an offline app and through live radio lessons where people can participate, ask questions and teachers can respond online.

Through providing STEM lessons via radio and keypad cell phones to older children in Uganda, this innovation is having a profound impact on the resilience of children’s problem solving, increasing interest in STEM, and expressed interest in STEM.

- Academy member
Academy review results
Read more about our selection process

Spread of the innovation

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