PARTNERSHIPS & COMMUNITY

Eskom Science Expo Project

Purpose of the programme

The SPU (SPU), as part of its community outreach initiative, seeks to establish a partnership with the organisers of the Expo for Young Scientist in the Northern Cape in order to establish a collaborative relationship with them and with participating schools within the Frances Baard education District.

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Phase 1 of the SPU project that dealt with hosting workshops at the university for learners from participating schools ended on 3 August 2018, where learners presented their science projects, either completed or partially completed. With the assistance of the mentor student teachers (both from the Intermediate Phase and Senior/FET Phases), and lecturers involved with the project, learners received guidance on how to present, display and interact with the judges regarding their science project during the regional science expo competition to be held over the weekend of 10-11 August at the Mayibuye Centre in Galeshewe.

In Phase 2 of the SPU project, nine of our senior science education students applied to act as shadow judges or as judges. Transport to and from the university residence and the science expo venue was provided by the Department of Basic Education, Northern Cape.

Feedback on the 2018 SPU Project:

  • Schools who participated in the SPU-run workshops expressed their appreciation to the university for hosting workshops for their learners and exposing learners to an environment that motivated them to develop their interest in science.
  • It was the first time in the SPU project that a school entered the Technology Innovation category with the emphasis on robotics-need to bring on board our Technology staff in the future to participate in the project.
  • The four participating schools were always in full attendance at all the workshops and the relationships with the respective science teachers from the participating schools became well established.
  • Two learners from the project won bronze medals for their science projects.

Future Plans

  • To encourage participation in the fabrication of projects in the field of robotics.
  • Establish and develop a much more cordial and professional relationship with the coordinators of the regional science expo.
  • To plan workshops that are more interactive and to invite good science teachers to make input in guiding learners in their decision-making and fabrication of their science projects.
  • To encourage our senior science students to participate in the project either as mentors or to become judges.

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