Scientists, educators, administrators
and post graduate students have teamed up in an exciting programme of physics
outreach, aimed at disadvantaged high school learners. The project flows
from the USA-NSF funded schools outreach program (QuarkNet) of Columbia University
and the University of Pittsburgh, in which teachers from South Africa were
sponsored to attend workshops in the USA. The programme is based around a
mobile physics laboratory, accompanied by scientists, teachers and students
equipped to run a varied physics program and provide teacher support. The
physics program contains visually exciting physics demonstrations, hands-on
exploratorium activities and also team based project experiments, all targeted
at high school learners. Additional sessions planned as teacher support are
aimed at developing simple resources and providing training for physics demonstrations,
and optimizing the use of the local facilities at each school. There are
also informal sessions where the learners interact with the young higher
degree students. The STYLE science club program is being launced at each
visited school. The project is well on its way to becoming sustainable. It
has been named the Science Emasondosondo. The project derives strong participation
and leadership from the Quarknet program. It is administered from the Gauteng
Education Department and housed at the Newtown Science Centre. All higher
degree institutions are partners in the program, via the South African Institute
of Physics (SAIP). Currently, it is operated from the Schonland Research
Institute of Nuclear Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.
This is the second
year of the project. The first year (2002) visited about 3% of the Gauteng
This year, the project will
- spread to Natal,
the Cape and the North West province,
- contain additional
- include the development
learner science clubs,
- have additional
research components in science education,
- and make further
steps towards long term sustainability.
- To participate in developing the culture
of science and technology.
- To develop outreach programmes to disadvantaged
- To attract significantly large numbers
of learners to the science and technology area.
- To support the existing educators in
the development of these learners.
- To design a program based on a mobile
physics laboratory that is appropriate, dynamic, sustainable, involves all
stakeholders and produces measurable outputs.
Some high reolution Images ....
There are many more images here
Financed by NSF
and supported by the SAIP
NSF - National Science Foundation - USA
GPDE - Gauteng Provincial Department of Education - SA
SAIP - South African institute of Physics - SA