Chemie oop

The SBA itinerant workshops in Kirkwood

“Presenting Chemical Science as a subject can sometimes be difficult but through this workshop, I’ve learned how to make it easy and keep it interesting for the learners.” That’s what Shirley Cook, a teacher at La Trobe Primary School in Enon, said after the Stigting deur Bemagtiging deur Afrikaans (SBA) Chemical workshop on Saturday.

Cook is one of about 20 teachers from the Eastern Cape who attended the workshop in Kirkwood.  The itinerant workshops are presented specifically to primary school teachers in collaboration with the Stellenbosch University Chemistry Outreach Initiative (SUNCOI).

The teachers were quick out their comfort zones and put on their lab coats to attend the practical workshop. In total they performed eight practical experiments with household items such as cooking oil, vinegar, water, cake flour and baking soda.

Dr Rehana Malgas-Enus, a senior lecturer at the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science of the SU’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, presented the workshop. She was supported by Jabu Lukhele, who is also attached to the same department. Malgas-Enus said they’ve missed out on a lot during the Covid-19 pandemic. “This year we were determined to keep to our goal and commitment.

The chemical workshop held in Kirkwood was the fourth one this year. The first one was held in Kranshoek in Plettenberg Bay, followed by one in Atlantis and another in Springbok, Northern Cape. “All the workshops were very successful. We view it as a success when the teacher is once again passionate about the subject and is looking forwarding to take the experiments back to the classroom.”

Wayne Basson, a teacher at Mistkraal  RC Primary School in Kirkwood praised SBA and Suncoi for their work. “If I’ve enjoyed it like this, the children will enjoy it just as much. I’m looking forward to doing the experiments with the kids in the classroom.”

The SBA and Suncoi also invited 94 matriculants from different schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area who take Physical Science as a subject, to the to the Nelson Mandela University’s science lab. The lab visits are also part of the SBA’s chemical project and gives the learners a taste of what they can expect in their field of study. This was the first time for the learners inside a real laboratory.

Gerswin Cupido, project manager at SBA said the Chemical project ended on a high note. “It was an absolute experience to see the learners enjoy themselves during the lab visit. The workshop in Kirkwood was also received very well by the teachers.”

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