In December 2008 a second ArcelorMittal Science Centre was established in the Vredenburg/Saldanha Bay region of the Western Cape in partnership with the Western Cape Education Department.
The Centre provides science, mathematics and career guidance to more than 800 Grade 10 to Grade 12 learners from the 5 high schools in the Saldanha Bay Municipality area. This service has recently been extended to the 18 local primary schools. Our teachers also have once a week in-class teaching interventions at the schools. Outreach to schools is currently a major part of the operations and general public events are held both in-house and on outreach. Educators are also involved through teacher training empowerment workshops. The Saldanha Science Centre has 5 classrooms, two fully equipped science laboratories for physics and chemistry practicals, a computer centre and interactive science exhibitions for curriculum linked science and mathematics instruction.
The Early Childhood Development programme currently caters for 7 pre-schools that visit the centre on a weekly basis and it concentrates on numeracy and literacy.
The centre also collaborates with other like minded institutions around South Africa by bringing special educational tours to the schools to enhance their experiential learning.
The centre has also introduced informal education activities in form of hands-on curriculum related workshops and science shows according to the grade relevance. These programmes are run by the science graduates in the National Youth Service sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology.
In 2010 the Saldanha Science Centre successfully hosted the 13th international South African Association of Science and Technology Centres (SAASTEC) conference with about 160 delegates from all over the world. With a strong emphasis on communicating science across cultural barriers, biodiversity and building capacity at science centres, the conference provided insight into programmes implemented at science centres.
Science Centre In-house programmes:
a) Schools programme
The learners get curriculum support in Maths, Physical Science, English, Career guidance and Time Management in the classroom. The grades range from 10-12. Learner visits are fully sponsored including transport to and from the centre. The laboratories are fully used for practical investigations in physics and chemistry for grade 10-12. The practicals are fully hands to equip learners with necessary skills needed to succeed at tertiary level laboratories.
b) After school classes
Different schools are catered for as learners come on their own accord to get homework support and classes in areas of the curriculum of choice. Once a week a grade 10 science class and a maths grade 8-9 class are held.
c) Holiday Schools
The Winter and Spring Schools are held for two weeks each during these school breaks. They are fully sponsored and learners are bussed, receive food and specially prepared notes by our teachers in Maths and Science.
d) Early Childhood Development Programme
We currently have 7 pre-schools that are involved. Some visit the centre once a week and others every fortnight. They use computers to develop their numeracy and motor skills.
A. In-class interventions are held at one high school for grade 12 maths and science once a week and at one primary school for grade 9’s.
Hands-on curriculum workshops and magnificent science shows are held at primary schools.
B. The Technology Centre caters for grade 10-12 electrical and mechanical engineering subjects. It is based in one of the high school premises, Weston High. It has 40 learners that take these courses.
- Antarctica Month in June
- Marine sciences month in August
- Career focus each month
- Special focus on a different engineering discipline each month
- International year of chemistry week in each month
- National Science Week from 1st to 6th August 2011
- Sasol Techno X science festival from 16th to 19th Aug – doing workshops and science shows
- African origins month focus in September
- Foundation phase month in November