Teachers' workshop packs a punch

07 December 2011 | Story by Newsroom

teachersFrom left to right: Among the speakers at the workshop was (from left) Prof Jack Fletcher (HOD, Department of Chemical Engineering), Prof Crain Soudien, Dr Tracy Bromfield of Sasol, Prof Francis Petersen (dean of UCT's Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, Dr Masikana Mdleleni of PetroSA, Prof Michael Claeys (director, c*change) and UCT's Rene Toerien.

In November, over 60 science teachers from across the Western Cape attended the annual teachers' afternoon in UCT's Department of Chemical Engineering.

The workshop offered an opportunity for teachers to interact with other teachers, academics and industry partners around relevant subject matters. It also provided useful ideas and much-needed resources for the teaching of physical science in the classrooms.

The afternoon also marked the Cape Town launch of the Chemical Industries Resource pack that was developed by UCT staff, Sasol, the Department of Science & Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Catalysis based at UCT (aka c*change), and PetroSA. The pack was designed in support of the changes in the grade 11 and 12 physical science syllabi, which include a stronger focus on the role of science in industry, technology and the environment.

Over the past year, 5 600 such packs have been distributed to over 2 000 science teachers, at 58 workshops across the country. Funding for the pack came from Sasol, PetroSA and c*change.

"The university has deliberately turned its attention to the schooling system to help close the gap between grade 12 and the first year of university," deputy vice-chancellor Professor Crain Soudien told teachers. "Students who are under-prepared struggle to succeed, and the resource pack is a great initiative to assist the schools in preparing their students for university study."

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