FET chemistry illuminated for science teachers

17 November 2009 | Story by Newsroom

science teachersAmong those who attended the science teachers' afternoon were (from left) Goodluck Kavhura (Heritage College), Memory Dizha (Masiyile High School), David Destorie (Harold Cressy High School), and Abel Muchinapaya (Oaklands High School).

Such has been the success of the UCT Department of Chemical Engineering's annual science teachers' afternoon that attendee numbers have grown from 30 to over 100 in 2009.

This year's theme was Responding to the challenges in teaching FET chemistry.

The programme helps science teachers grapple with many new facets of the National Senior Certificate curriculum, particularly physical science where several additional topics have been introduced. For example, the coverage of organic chemistry has been much expanded. At the same time, chemistry remains a subject with its own challenges for teaching in a conceptually meaningful way, such as moving between macro, micro and molecular scales and the understanding of chemical phenomena.

The latest gathering of science teachers provided a welcome opportunity to get to grips with some of these difficulties. The interaction was augmented by information packs prepared by the department.

Associate Professor Jenni Case said: "It's thanks to Rene Toerien that this afternoon is so successful ... This is testimony to her passion and understanding of the needs of science teachers in the schools."

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