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.