The week of 30 July – 3 August saw a flurry of activity at the Science and Technology Education Centre on the Westville campus as local school pupils from the greater Durban area came to experience and enjoy fun-filled mornings of science.
In celebration of National Science Week, and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science pulled out all the stops to keep some 300 Grade 10 and 11 pupils wowed by the whole spectrum of scientific wonders available at the University.
Accommodating 60 learners a day, the programme offered an array of hands-on fun. From simulating tsunamis, to munching on liquid-nitrogen-dipped biscuits, to making chemical concoctions, to analysing microbiological cultures, to exploring the wonders of bats - the learners did it all.
Each day witnessed youngsters from four different schools take their turn at being scientists of the future. The day’s programme included exposure to four different scientific disciplines, a talk on careers available in the sciences, as well as a fun-filled quiz. With a competitive element thrown into the mix, the children were eager to display just how many scientific facts they had at their fingertips.
‘What was the name of the first satellite sent into space? Why, Sputnik, of course!’
With a delicious tea and lunch, a personal goody bag with useful information and a do-it-yourself scientific experiment for everyone, learners left the University in high spirits, with the importance of science receiving a big green light!
National Science Week is celebrated every year during the first week of August. A Department of Science and Technology initiative run in partnership with public and private institutions, it aims to further the public’s understanding of science and to advance science and technology within South Africa.