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Building on our team's diverse backgrounds, our original focus was on engineering projects on the one hand, and psychology and education on the other. Recently, we have pulled in collaborators from other areas to address pressing issues such as nutrition, health, and conservation. 


Since April, 2022, we have been collaborating with the Social Origins Lab at UC Berkeley, helping to design and run behavioural experiments on children's social development in Kenya.


In March, 2022, our team recruited participants and collected data for the Many Babies Africa project run by Stanford University.

Since March 2021, we have been part of a project on peer teaching opportunities in Kenya, Zambia, and Ethiopia run jointly by Aston University, Kisii University, the University of Zambia, and the University of Gondar (Ethiopia). In collaboration with Edutab Kenya, our team helped to design data collection tools, and has been collecting questionnaire-based and observational data on children's interactions in rural Kenya.

In 2021, we collaborated with Edu-RD (Switzerland) to help develop a tool for recognizing and supporting children's writing skills.

Since December, 2019, we have been recruiting and training research assistants to study mealtime behaviours and language development in rural Africa in collaboration with Aston University (UK), Kisii University (Kenya), and the University of Zambia. Our team has been collecting observational and questionnaire-based data as well as transcribing, translating, and coding video recordings.

Between November, 2019 and April, 2020, we trained and hired four assistants for a developmental research project run by the University of Gothenburg. Our team helped to run eye-tracking studies with infants in rural Kenya, administered questionnaires, and transcribed and translated video recordings.

Combining engineering and conservation, the Toolbox team has also been involved in the SustainAM project which focuses on use of plant residues as biodegradable materials for additive manufacturing. Some of the materials that have been investigated and used for additive manufacturing are rice husks and water hyacinth. The SustainAM project is jointly carried out by Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (TUBAF) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) under funding from DAAD and BMBF.


More details about our projects can be found in the publications below:


Andanje, M. N., Mwangi, J. W., Mose, B. R., & Carrara, S. (2023). Biocompatible and Biodegradable 3D Printing from Bioplastics: A Review. Polymers, 15(10), 2355.


Sotohou, F., Mwangi, J. W., Mutua, J. M., & Ronoh, E. K. (2023). Development and Evaluation of Recycled Polypropylene and Bean Pod Powder Composite Biomaterial for Fused Filament Fabrication. Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, 13(3), 31-48.


Wamuti, G., Mwangi, J. W., Karanja, S. K., Micke, L. and Zeidler, H. (2023) Optimization of Extrusion Process Parameters of Recycled High-Density Polyethylene-Thermoplastic Starch Composite for Fused Filament Fabrication. Open Journal of Composite Materials, 13, 69-86.


Zeidler, H., Farrow, C., Jarman, M., Koteng, G., Simatende, B., Matthews, D., ... & Wadende, P. (2022). The role of mealtimes in fostering language development and aligning home and school learning: protocol for a multi-method study of preschool children in rural Kenya and Zambia. JMIR Research Protocols, 11(7), e36925.


Meristo, M., & Zeidler, H. (2022). Cross-cultural differences in early expectations about third party resource distribution. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 1-6.


Engelmann, J. M., Zhang, Z., Zeidler, H., Dunham, Y., & Herrmann, E. (2021). The influence of friendship and merit on children’s resource allocation in three societies. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 208, 105149.


Jarman, M., Zeidler, H., Shapiro, L., Clarke, R., Mooya, H., Simatende, B., ... & Farrow, C. (2021). Qualitative Accounts of School-Aged Children’s Diets during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural, Central, Kenya. Nutrients, 13(10), 3543.


Tsui, A. S. M., Marchman, V. A.,...Zeidler, H., Lew-Williams, C., & Frank, M. C. (2021). Building theories of consistency and variability in children's language development: A large-scale data approach. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 61, 199-221.


Wadende, A.P. & Zeidler, H. (2020). An eco-cultural approach to early childhood development. Lancet Global Health.


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