The Science 2Go campaign is hoping to bring practical science experiments to Bay schools soon following their recent roadshow, enjoyed by Douglas Mbopa High School pupil Kilani Junior, 13, Mahle Communications manager Jolene van Heerden, Javu Lusanda, 13, and CASME’s Henre Benson
Picture: Tremaine van Aardt
This article originally appears in the Herald Newspaper and Herald Live.
A mobile science lab rolled into Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday on a mission to reignite a passion for maths and science in impoverished schools through practical application of the usually mundane theory.
A dire need for engineers saw Mahle South Africa partner with the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) three years ago to establish the Science2Go campaign.
And in the last two days the science lab has visited six schools to raise awareness and garner support for the campaign. The visit could give two pupils the opportunity to study at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Stuttgart, Germany.
The idea is to take science to the pupils in way they can touch and see it in action through practical experiments instead of just reading about theory in their books.
Speaking at Douglas Mbopa High School, Science2Go chief operations officer Henre Benson said the campaign had already reached more than 15 000 pupils across KwaZulu-Natal and would soon be active in the Bay. “We will handle all the practical experiments in the curriculum. Children tend to learn when they can see what is being taught,” he said.
“This skills development has already improved the science enrolment in our  KwaZulu-Natal schools by 43%. “So initially we do the experiments but we also train the teachers to make it sustainable once our services are needed elsewhere.”
He said this week was a roadshow to introduce the concept to the schools. Should a sponsor assist in buying and equipping another vehicle, the mobile lab will be operational in the city within three months.
“Once we are operational we will visit the identified schools anywhere between once a week or once a month, depending on the availability and the requirements of the school.”
Douglas Mbopa deputy principal Konya Nomazulu said the campaign was phenomenal. “We will definitely be on board with this.”
Mahle communications manager Jolene van Heerden said the organisation’s corporate social investment programme focused on addressing problems with maths and science at schools. “We wanted to make a difference.”
She said Mahle funded university studies for several pupils.
“Two of the most exceptional pupils are given an opportunity to study engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Stuttgart, which is an R800 000 bursary spread over four years.”
Thank you to all our partners who have supported our work in Mathematics and Science education during 2017. It has been another significant year as we continue to realise our vision of changing the lives of learners through quality and innovative mathematics and science education.
2017 marked the first year of a 3 year strategic drive in 4 key areas of our engagement. First and foremost was our recommitment to our core purpose of teacher professional development. In this space we have continued to expand our work at the primary schooling level. In partnership with NPC Intercement and the Ugu District we worked with teachers and HODs in the intermediate phase as part of the South Coast Education Project. We also continued to develop accredited programmes as a SACE and ETDP SETA accredited provider.
Secondly we identified ICTs for Teaching and Learning and continue to work towards taking our programmes online over the next few years. To this end we will also be piloting a remote support project in the Ilembe district in 2018. In 2017 we rolled out the Siyavula Practice tablet programme for Grade 12 learners in the Zenex Foundation funded Izimpande Zokukhanya project in the Ilembe District of KZN.
The third focus area is in the increasingly important area of monitoring, evaluation and research under the umbrella of Knowledge Management. We developed a number of new Learning Briefs and implemented internal data processes for improving decision making.
In an ongoing effort to share our experience, the mathematics team presented at the national Association of Mathematics Educators of South Africa (AMESA) conference. CASME Acting Director, Henre Benson presented at the HRDC Communities of Practice workshop hosted by the National Research Foundation and Department of Science and Technology sharing lessons from our award winning Science2Go project. We also hosted our first series of NPO Knowledge Sharing seminars. The series covered M&E, Data Visualisation and Social Media for NPOs. To our NGO/NPO partners watch this space as Series 2 kicks off in the new year.
Owing to increased capacity we also secured work in this field including an evaluation of the SAPREF Laboratory Project and the development of a Mathematics Education Chairs Initiative Communication Brief for the First Rand Foundation which will roll out in the first half of 2018.
Our fourth focus is Partnerships and Collaboration which we see as essential to increase our impact in education, to respond to South Africa's National Development Plan and the Global Goals.
By way of example, in September CASME along with 5 other science programmes in KZN implemented a pilot project under the banner Umjikilezo WeScience. The work was presented at the SAASTEC conference in November. It is anticipated that this will lead to the establishment of a National Association of Science Outreach Programmes, which will launch with a national symposium on mobile science labs in September 2018, so watch this space.
We also continue to support the work of the National Education Collaboration Trust in KZN alongside PILO and the Jika Imfundo campaign which will take on a new size and shape in the coming year.
Finally, the strategic plan is underlined by a fifth element; Innovation and Sustainability which looks at how new energy, ideas and programmes can be brought to life in order to remain relevant in a rapidly changing education environment. It also seeks to find ways to leverage social enterpreneurship thinking to ensure long term future sustainability. In 2017 we piloted a few programmes along these lines including the Young Scientist Incubator, The Science Lab and a Tuition Schoolas well as beginning work on 2020Vision in partnership with Dr Marlies Craig.
In April 2018 we will be co-convening the Environmental Sustainable Action and Community Development Conference with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a broad range of other partners including Ethekwini Municipality. The call for participation is available at the link above.
Ultimately the real value of CASME is in its work in communities alongside teachers, schools and the Department of Education. We were pleased to expand our Resource Centre network in 2017 with a new centre in Lamontville to support schools in Umlazi and South Durban. Thanks to Chevron for making this possible.
None of these successes would be possible without your continued support and commitment to our work. We are grateful to have had generous contributions by our donor partners from the business sector and independent trusts who continue to recognise the importance of quality education for the future of all South Africans.
We encourage you to continue to do so and we have the perfect opportunity to do so. In partnership with Seartec on 1 December we launched the #FutureFund crowdfunding campaign with the bold target of providing 10,000 calculators to learners. Click the image below for more information.
Seartec has partnered with CASME for their exciting new FutureFund campaign which aims to raise R2 million to put 10,000 brand new state of the art Sharp calculators into the hands of learners.
Research has demonstrated that a calculator for personal use with training and support can improve learner performance in mathematics. At least 15% of the maths exam can be answered quickly using a good scientific calculator. With the knowledge that many learners don't have a calculator the mark allocations for these questions are low. But, if you don’t have a scientific calculator you are going to spend a lot of time answering very low mark questions, which sets you up to not being able to answer higher mark questions that don’t need a calculator.
Research also shows that maths marks predict future income. It’s not difficult to see why. If you perform better in grade 11 and 12, you are more likely to be accepted into university (and earn a bursary) and thus get a better paying job. If we want to improve South Africa’s economy we need to start producing strong maths students and results from all walks of life.
Each set of calculators will be accompanied by a workshop, so that not only do these students have access to the right tools, they can use them effectively too. And of course, if we surpass our goal, we will keep going until we run out of money.
We want to reward you for getting involved so:
Teachers – the school that raises the most money towards the #FutureFund will also get 40 calculators of their choice.
Companies – donate more than R20 000 and choose to nominate the school they are sent to.
CASME is an NPO so you will also receive a tax certificate for supporting this worthy cause. We will also send you a picture of the students with their calculators so that you can see the positive impact you have made on them.
There are 3 easy ways to give.
1. Scan the QR code with the Zapper app from your phone and choose the amount you want to donate, R10, R25 or R50 or choose your own amount
2. Click through to the CASME Future Fund campaign page at GivenGain here:
3. Donate directly through our PayFast cause page using any credit, debit card, instant EFT or even Bitcoin. Get there by following the link from this page here:
CAREERS AND TERTIARY STUDIES OPEN DAY (POSTPONED)
Please note that the Open Day has been postponed due to storm damage at the Lamontville Education Centre. Our apologies for any inconvenience.
Lamontville Education Centre
New Date To Be Confirmee
09h00 to 13h00
Please join us for an exciting morning to learn more about future career and study opportunities!
All Grades 8 to 12 are invited!
Changing The Lives of Learners
Umjikelezo We-Science is a collaboration among different institutions, namely the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), Science2Go, the Durban Natural Science Museum (GO-WILD), the KZN Science Centre, the UKZN Science & Technology Education Centre (STEC@UKZN), the UNIZULU Science Centre and Kitchen Chemistry.
The word Umjikelezo means circle in IsiZulu and draws on a cultural practice of church groups taking their message on the road to communities. In this spirit, Umjikelezo We-Science aims to take the message of Science to rural KwaZulu-Natal.
The project is modelled after Dr Graham Walker’s Science Circus Africa, which is a pioneering science outreach project running in Southern Africa. The organisers aim to engage, inspire and promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) throughout KZN using interactive exhibitions and dynamic science shows, to communities that are inaccessible to these science centres and their services.
‘Traditionally science centres and museums provide an “in-reach” service although the importance and necessity of “out-reach” is becoming increasingly recognised. KZN is home to the largest number of science centres, museums and other STEM public facilities in South Africa. The province is therefore uniquely placed to host this first-of-its-kind major collaboration, between local science centres, non-profit organisations and museums,’ said Casme’s Mr Henre Benson.
‘The partners are extremely excited to be part of this inspirational project, It is only by working together that we can address the enormous challenges facing our learners, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.’
The pilot project will run over three days from 5-7 September in the Hammarsdale, Tongaat and Umbumbulu areas. Umjikilezo weScience provides an opportunity for up to 2 100 learners from different parts of the eThekwini Municipality to experience the excitement of Science and learn more about careers in STEM fields. The programme targets learners from Grades 8 to 10 so as to encourage an interest in Science and Mathematics and improve learner enrolment in Physical Sciences and Mathematics in the FET band at high schools.
As background information, Benson pointed out that in 2016 KZN enrolled 81,000 (approximately 55%) of its learners for Mathematics versus Mathematical Literacy in the National Senior Certificate examination but with only 32% achieving 40% or above. Physical Sciences learner enrolment was approximately 49,000 (33% of learners) with 36% achieving at 40% or above.
Umjikelezo We-Science Programme Highlights: 5-7 September 2017
The 3 hour daily roadshow programme will include:
For further information please contact:
Mr Henre Benson (CASME), 031 826 2508.
Last week Dr Marlies Craig teamed up with CASME for two days of educational outreach at the American Corner in Bessie Head Library, Pietermaritzburg. Talking about biodiversity with about 150 high school kids was so much fun. Are you wondering what they are all getting so excited about? Science! Nature! Insects! Genetics!
Stalk-eyed flies sizing each other up.Insects are full of surprises, and there are so many of them, that one can never run out of fresh, interesting material. For example, we kind of know about courtship displays in birds. We may have seen male impalas battling it out to win the favour of their ladies. We know mammals feed their young with milk. But courtship, territorial battles and suckling of young – in flies???
The children were riveted by the idea that female aphids make ‘photocopies’ of themselves, then giving birth to these clones, which already have the next generation developing inside them. I mean, that’s just CRAZY!
This article was originally appeared at:
Durban 30 May 2017, Delivering the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education Budget for 2017, MEC for Education Minister Dlungwana said that the province’s learner population is a ‘demographic dividend bonus’ and encouraged investment in them to improve the quality of life of all citizens. He also said that more attention was being paid to improving the quality of schooling, especially in the acquisition of foundational skills for learning such as reading, writing and numeracy.
Taking up the call for investment in primary education, Kingdomslots through its Grand Gaming Corporate Social Investment programme has partnered with local non-profit organisation CASME.
CASME runs a training and support programme for primary schools in the Pinetown, Umlazi and Ugu Districts of the KwaZulu-Natal province. The programme provides support to teachers through quarterly training workshops and the distribution of teaching resources. The annual programme concludes with the staging of a Mathematics Olympiad Competition for learners from Grades 3 to 7.
Over 600 teachers from primary schools in the Umlazi districts will be supported by the Kingdomslots donation of R108,000. The teachers have demonstrated high levels of commitment to their professional development and participation in the training provided which ensured their place in the programme.
The project encourages interest and enthusiasm by learners through the staging of a series of mathematics competitions. These competitions are organised at two levels, the first being at school level followed by an inter-school competition.
Director of CASME, Henre Benson, speaking at the handover said that experience has shown that the competitions provide a number of benefits including motivating teachers to cover the curriculum at the appropriate standard and giving schools insight into areas requiring remediation which are then addressed through the teacher training workshops.
The best performing learners in the project will be awarded prizes at a ceremony during November.
Durban, 12 May 2017, South Africa spends 6.3% of its GDP on education, (compared to South Korea which spends 4.6%), however, 27% of pupils who have attended school in South Africa for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. (The Economist, January 2017).
“South Africa needs to set new benchmarks for success in order to meet this educational urgency,” said Chevron South Africa chairman, Shashi Rabbipal, at the opening of a new Chevron-funded facility for the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) in Durban today.
Chevron is set to invest R3.6 million into the CASME initiative to address the educational challenges facing the communities surrounding its Lubricant Manufacturing Plant (LMP) based on the South Basin of the Port of Durban. This funding is supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Umlazi District and it has been used to expand the Lamontville Education Centre to include a Science Resource Centre.
The beneficiary communities of the investment include Bluff, Wentworth, Merebank, Isipingo, Montclair, Glenwood, Umlazi, Lamontville and Chesterville. These are the communities from which Chevron draws its employees, and where the company has its local roots.
“The private sector has a pivotal role to play in implementing workable solutions in education in South Africa. By far the best solution involves seeking and nurturing high value partnerships with other stakeholders in education.
“We need to look at the demands of a modern economy on the one hand and the enormous projected growth in number of learners, especially at high school level. In 2025 there will be 21.3 million secondary learners in South Africa (The Global Rise in Education) and these learners will need clear pathways into science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
“Therefore, as a leader in an industry with a strong science and technology orientation, it is critical for Chevron South Africa to invest in education in the communities from which it sources its workforce and to complement its massive investments into infrastructure, resources and other areas of the economy,” Rabbipal said.
“We are addressing learners who stand to benefit through a tuition programme for Grades 10 to 12. 300 learners from five schools started their Saturday classes in the early part of the year, with tutors offering expert guidance in mathematics, science and English.
Rabbipal added that the country’s National Development Plan has set a number of ambitious targets for mathematics and science learner achievement by 2030, including the creation of 30 000 artisans a year.
“These targets are critical if the country is to meet its goals of alleviating poverty, inequality and unemployment. But government alone cannot solve the crisis in mathematics and science education in South Africa, it requires the collective effort of all stakeholders,” added Rabbipal.
He concluded that teachers are at the core of quality and innovative teaching and learning, and so at the heart of the programme is ongoing support for local teachers through training and mentorship from the CASME team of seasoned facilitators.
Their programme is three-pronged tackling the issue of resources for teaching, support for teachers and creating opportunities for learners.
About Chevron South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Chevron South Africa is an affiliate of Chevron Corporation, the world’s second largest integrated energy company, which markets its products in South Africa under the Caltex Brand - one of the country’s top petroleum brands, with around 850 service stations nationwide. It also has Lubricants blending and base oil storage capability and markets Caltex Havoline and Caltex Delo to consumers across the country.
Chevron South Africa operates a crude oil refinery in Cape Town with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels a day. The refinery produces petrol, diesel, jet fuel, LPG, bitumen gas and other speciality products for South Africa and for export to other African countries. The Lubricants Manufacturing Plant in Durban together with its premium base oil hub has world class manufacturing, storage infrastructure and capability therefore allowing it to be poised as a key contributor to growth in South Africa.
Chevron South Africa is a major contributor to the country’s economic growth and has implemented wide-reaching social investment programmes in health, education and economic development.
Issued by FTI Consulting:
For interviews, visuals or further information, please contact:
+27 (0) 21 487 9027 direct
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On behalf of Chevron South Africa:
Suzanne Pullinger, Communications Manager
+27 (0) 21 403 7671
+27 (0) 83 708 0089
On Monday 24 April CASME hosted the second of its NGO Knowledge Sharing Seminars. We teamed up with local civic technology NGO, Open Data Durban (opendata.durban), who came to share their expertise on the exciting and interesting field of Data Visualisation.
Richards Gevers, founder of Open Data Durban, introduced delegates to the data pipeline, data wrangling, data hygiene and some nifty data mapping tools.
The session includes useful Google Sheets tools and tips, introduction to Tabula, Piktochart, Carto and much more.
THE NPC/Intercement cement company, which has a factory at Simuma, is aware that South Africans need educated, informed teachers to build their country and has decided to do something about it.
It is involved in a three-year project that started last year and that assists teachers by offering them informative workshops run by the cement company’s project partner, the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME).
The Department of Basic Education’s Ugu District is also involved in the project. As it aims to build strong foundations for learning in the lower grades, the project’s 2017 focus will continue to be on providing training and support for maths and English teachers in grades 4 to 6.
Early last year when NPC/Intercement decided to invest in education as part of its corporate social investment programme, it approached the Ugu Educational District.
Those involved in the social investment proposal were keen deliver a local education initiative that would be embedded in the work of the district and would provide additional support to schools in the area.
Together the district and NPC/InterCement designed a teacher development programme to support maths grade 4 to 6, or intermediate phase, teachers as this was the phase identified as being the most in need of intervention. In February last year they approached CASME and asked it to support the implementation of the programme.
Together they devised a three-year project implementation plan that includes training workshops, held at the start of each term, for intermediate phase maths teachers. The workshops focus on mathematical content across the intermediate phase grades and on teaching skills training.
Teachers are also given manuals to help them design and implement lesson plans. The training model also allows the teachers to share their newly acquired knowledge with their colleagues.
A programme to support English teachers has also been implemented. It will build on the five-day training that was recently provided to intermediate phase teachers by the British Council. The workshops began in September 2016.
The Ugu Educational District has welcomed this programme and is already seeing some positive results. Teachers’ skills have been enhanced and they have gained confidence. Principals have already noticed an improvement.
So far 277 of 502 maths teachers earmarked for the project have already attended mathematics workshops. All Ugu Educational District intermediate English teachers, about 600, are involved in the programme and will eventually benefit from workshops.
“The NPC Intercement and CASME workshops provide high quality workshop materials and quality facilitation that includes motivation for teachers to do their best to ensuring quality learning and teaching,” said Ugu District spokesman, Nozipho Mbotho.
The district was confident it would see an improvement in the teaching of the two targeted subject and in all subjects taught in English, she added.
This article originally appears in the South Coast Herald: