*Sci-Bono Science Centre Visit: Bristol ChemLabS Supporting South African Science Education

Tim Harrison spent a week in January 2010 at the Sci-Bono Science Centre in Johannesburg working with demonstrators from science centres across South Africa delivering workshops and training sessions.  Tim trained over 20 demonstrators to deliver both lecture demonstrations and practical workshops in both their own centres and in the township schools to disadvantaged young learners.

The ever popular lecture demonstration ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’, created by Dudley Shallcross and Tim and already presented over 700 times, was the focus of the training. The demonstrator team at Sci-Bono are committed to delivering their own versions of this lecture daily at the centre to an average of 200 learners per performance.

Whilst in Johannesburg Tim performed or assisted others in the performing 'A Pollutant's Tale' 7 times at the Sci Bono Science Centre to over 1000 secondary school learners, 45 primary school learners and 180 members of the general public. This included the 270 students who saw 'A Pollutant's Tale' in two township schools in Soweto.

The lecture demonstration and primary chemistry workshops are already being used in the Eastern Cape thanks to an initiative set up between Bristol and the Chemistry Department at Rhodes University a year ago.

The other centres involved in the project were: Osizeni Science Centre, Delta Environmental Centre, University of Venda, MTN Science Centre (Cape Town), Arcelo Mital Science Centre and Witwatersrand University.

The visit was co-sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Sci-Bono Science Centre and Bristol ChemLabS


Image above from Southern African Association of Science & Technology Centres (SAASTEC) News, Thandi O’Hagan (2010), 1, (2), 2

Related Links

1. Bristol ChemLabS take Chemistry to South African pupils (4 November 2008) http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2008/5988.html

2. Bristol scientists reach out to help schools in Africa (8 September 2008) http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2008/5889.html

3. Bristol ChemLabS supports South African science education (22 January 2010) http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2010/6802.html