EUNAWE SCIENCE CENTRE COLLABRATIONS
GAUTENG AND NORTH WEST PROVINCE
The Sci Bono Centre in Newtown Johannesburg is currently piloting the Universe in the Box Project on behalf of EUNAWE. Michael Ellis was keen from the inception to develop a working relationship with EUNAWE and host projects.
The training took place on the 18th of July. Twenty trainers from the science centre participated in the training. The session began with a brief outline of the project and the reason behind the piloting of the project. The centre works very closely with the Gauteng Education Department and also has programmes such has ECD Week and a Foundation Phase Week. This is very much in line with the target groups of the EUNAWE Project. The Science Centre is the ideal place for the testing of the box because the scope of learners that visit the centre range and thus the trainers will be able to clearly identify activities that work best in the SA context and offer recommendations to suit the SA environment.
The training focused on the planets, constellations and moon phases. Trainers had the opportunity to work with the material and discuss ways it can be used at the Science Centre. It also gave the trainers an opportunity to test their basic astronomy knowledge. The box will be trailed at the centre for 3 months and feedback will be given directly back to International Office. Charles Maseko offered support during the training. He also fielded questions asked by the trainers.
The North West University Science Centre will be embarking on EUNAWE activities in the next term. This is an opportune time, since the Grade Four learners will be focusing on the astronomy aspect of the CAPS Curriculum, which is Earth and Beyond. Two Pop Rocket launchers were and a host of other learning materials were donated to the Science Centre. Papi Lekwene a MSC student who is currently doing a project on Stellar Astrophysics was trained on the how to conduct an astronomy workshop for Grade Four educators . Two of colleagues also joined the training session and discussions were held on how the materials used at the educator workshop could be used at the Science Centre to teach young children about astronomy.
It is hoped that EUNAWE will continue to develop further projects with other Science Centres in South Africa.