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There is a general complaint in Southern Africa that there is a lack of laboratories, no science apparatus and no chemicals.

But in this article, Keith Warren of the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique argues that this is the wrong way to view the situation. People have become accustomed to seeing problems and complaining, he says. But there is an alternative — to find opportunities.

Warren describes how he and his colleagues have used simple local resources — such as a few nails and a yard of wire — to teach children basic scientific concepts and transmit some knowledge and confidence to the country's younger generation.

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