Clever learners win science lab

2017-02-28 06:01
These learners of York Road Primary School won a science competition. Their victory has led to a new science lab at the school. The now Grade 7 learners are pictured with science teacher Mark Oglive. PHOTO: Samantha lee

These learners of York Road Primary School won a science competition. Their victory has led to a new science lab at the school. The now Grade 7 learners are pictured with science teacher Mark Oglive. PHOTO: Samantha lee

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A Lansdowne school has welcomed a new science lab with open arms.

On Tuesday last week, the lab at York Road Primary School was officially opened by UWC’s Science Learning Centre for Africa (SLCA).

The SLCA runs support programmes to improve the teaching and learning of science and mathematics and looks to facilitate learning by improving school infrastructure and providing spaces for learning.

Five centres were opened last week, bringing the total to 45 centres since the SLCA’s programme started in 2004.

“This is a fantastic day for our school,” says school principal Colin Isaacs.

SLCA director Prof Shaheed Hartley says the labs will go a long way to improve the overall interest in science. He says they were introduced to all the projects the school was involved in while busy with training ahead of the launch of the labs last year.

The project is a joint venture between UWC, the Garden Cities Archway Foundation and the provincial education ­department.

Science teacher Mark Oglive says he is excited about the prospects of the lab.

“The year before last when we took part in a science competition, we heard we would be receiving a lab and then they started renovating the old science lab,” says Oglive.

It can hold 40 pupils and features five stations with rotating tables and workspaces.

“Before the lab we were doing experiments outside and in the classroom on benches that was not ideal, but we had to make do. We had some science equipment, but we had to make do with bottles or other stuff where we did not have the right tools,” he says.

Despite this hurdle the school won the science competition, which gained them recognition and, inevitably, the science lab.

Oglive teaches with a passion for science, a passion he now believes will be passed on to his learners in the lab.

“The lab allows the learners to get engrossed in science. We want to inspire them to go into the field of science because we need more scientists,” he says.

Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for the area, says the lab may help them discover the next great scientist will come from the area.

“The lab is one step for York Road but a giant leap for the community of Lansdowne,” he says.

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