The Science Centre at the North West University invited EUNAWE to host learner and educator workshops, the week starting 22-07-2013. Ms Sameeng Seena the Natural Science and Technology Curriculum Advisor for the North West Education Department coordinated the events for the week. The plan of action was to visit 4 schools and host an Educator Workshop.
Sol Plaatjies was the first school visited. There were a hundred and fifty nine learners practiced the art of pop rocket making. Ms Sameeng Seena enthusiastically assisted the learners in launching of the rockets and gave clear instructions on how it should be done. The learners were most eager to learn how to create a pop rocket in their homes, using the same materials excluding the rocket launcher. I demonstrated using a 2L bottle, a pvc pipe and the paper rocket. An alternative to the pvc pipe would be a hose pipe.
St Mary Primary school is situated in the outskirts of Mafikeng. Sixty nine learners in grade four were eager demonstrate their rocket skills. The Natural Science educators were so impressed with the rocket launcher that they are planning on building their own model for learners at the schools. For many learners it was the first time they had the opportunity to do a practical activity linked to astronomy.
EUNAWE had the pleasure of hosting Professor Thebe Medupe at Ipeleng Primary. The learners had the privilege of having a planets lesson presented by Professor Medupe prior to their pop rocket lesson. It was clear from interacting with the learners, that they had a solid knowledge of astronomy.
The final outreach event for the week, ended at Bodiri Primary. Fifty two learner gathered at the school hall with their Natural Science educators. Learners learnt about Sir Isaac’s Newton, Third Law using a balloon. This school attracts learners from the town and the surrounding villages. Ms Sameeng Seena encouraged to create their own rockets in the next term.
Finally the Educator workshop was held at D.P Kgoleng Primary. Ms Seena invited 56 of her schools to the workshop. The workshop was hosted by Papi Lekwene a MSC student at North West University, who is currently doing a project on Stellar Astrophysics. He also volunteers at the Science Centre at the NWU and a student of Professor Medupe. The workshop conducted was based on the CAPS Curriculum for Grade Four’s on Earth and Beyond. The educators were shown practical ways to teach various aspects of astronomy, which is an important assessment component.