Usasazo learners up in the clouds with weather vanes

2015-05-14 06:00
Thomas Mtontsi, educational officer for SAEON Egagasini Node, Patrick Barnes, the school principal, Bulelwa Mbopa, Science teacher, Babalwa Ndata, Geography teacher, Xolisa Dlomo of SAEON and learners during the installation of Weather Station at Usa

Thomas Mtontsi, educational officer for SAEON Egagasini Node, Patrick Barnes, the school principal, Bulelwa Mbopa, Science teacher, Babalwa Ndata, Geography teacher, Xolisa Dlomo of SAEON and learners during the installation of Weather Station at Usa

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Usasazo Secondary School learners are on cloud nine, so to speak, after their school was equipped with a device that will enable them to study weather conditions and patterns.

As a result of this, the science and geography classes at the school will be able to take part in practical lessons by collecting weather data.

The installation of the Weather Station was made possible by the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) through their science educational outreach program known as Egagasini Node.

The program is done through the observation of marine-offshore systems which is a national facility of the National Research Foundation.

The SAEON Egagasini Node support science integrates environmental science into schools science curriculum and promotes science awareness to the general public.

Thomas Mtontsi, educational officer for SAEON Egagasini Node, said the object is to support the development of science skills.

“We say let us support science learners to understand the practical side of science. It is very difficult to analyse the data without the devices. We will take this data and compare it with the one for South African Weather Services. We encourage innovation, which is what science is all about,” Mtontsi said.

He also said the other challenge that science learners are facing is to know how to write in the language of science, but he said they will also teach them the tactics.

Learners that will mostly use the device are the ones in Grade 9, 10 and 11.

Xolisa Dlomo, a scientist from SAEON, has been assigned to help with conducting the science classes.

“I will do regular visits to the school to help the teachers and learners where there is a need. I am not here to substitute the teachers, but to help them. They(learners) will get more ideas of the practical side before they go to university, which is an opportunity few learners are exposed to. We want to show them that science is possible,” Dlomo said.

Patrick Barnes, the school principal was highly ecstatic on the installation of the Weather Station.

“I am very happy and I am proud that my school is the only school that is benefiting from this. Learners here are now exposed to the things that they were never exposed to. They will not only learn the theory about science, but they will do it practically. I am very happy that we are on the right track for our mission of ringing in changes at this school,” Barnes said.

Asive Marele, Grade 12 learner said this was a great opportunity for learners in the school.

“I am very happy that learners will be able to do the analysis themselves now that we have the device here. This is going to shed more light for learners about science,” Marele said.

Marele is one of few learners that were selected to take part in the SAEON Egagasini Node, since 2013.

Mzamomhle Mjelo, Grade 10 learner said he was also happy. Mjelo said it will attract more learners to study at the school.

The program will also help with the recruitment of future scientists.

The programme involves schools selected from areas of abject poverty and other coastal communities

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