Our virtual Science expo was held on Tuesday, 08 December 2020.
Mrs. Shahida Anthony, the NST lecturer, three NST students of Cluster 7 and the NASC 177 module, Bashier Naidoo, Radiyah Otto and Saubira Smith as well as Mr. Retief Loubser, the Technology Lecturer were present.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 around the world in 2020, many countries have not been able to hold Science fairs/expos, to prevent the spread of this disease. Being an online institution, we have used our platform to allow students to upload their reports, journals as well as a video of their project and finally have an opportunity to showcase their work in the virtual expo presentation.
This virtual science expo is a culmination of work done by these students over the past Semester_ 2 of 2020.
The following philosophy and values were encouraged:
- emphasis on using the scientific method
- investigation by experimentation (inquiry-based learning)
- development of critical thinking skills
- opportunity for a positive learning experience
- extension of formal science education
During this semester, the students were involved in the Science Content module (NASC 177) and have been engaged with various projects and experiments where they needed to apply the principles of the scientific method or the technological design process. This in essence was in preparation for the ultimate science virtual expo where they could apply scientific knowledge, skills, and values acquired.
The students also gave beautiful and detailed explanations of their projects. All of them showcased their talent and abilities. Various sustainable topics and ideas were picked up and demonstrated visually and virtually. Topics from the role coal plays in producing electricity (understanding the National grid), to whether all animals behave the same with different stimuli to preventing the spread of germs (Covid-19).
They were questioned about the scientific concepts and theories behind their project by Mr. Retief Loubser, the Technology lecturer.
There was no formal judging this time around as was agreed upon by many institutions since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the traditional fair /expo systems. The silver lining was the virtual variant.
What we take from this experience is realising that the COVID-19 pandemic is requiring us to approach life like an experimental design. Researching, hypothesizing, implementing, analysing and drawing conclusions from life’s experiences. Having a virtual science expo was just one way to adapt to our situation creatively and innovatively.
Mrs. Anthony shared a special thank you to Mr. Retief Loubser (Technology lecturer) for his time and his invaluable contribution in this Science and Technology education process.
Mrs. Anthony also thanked the NASC 177 students and was indeed proud of them for their time and efforts spent in doing their experiments and presentations. This is but the beginning of a journey for them in Science Content and the Teaching of Science. Soon students will be qualified teachers and it will be incumbent on them to teach young learners how to develop a love for and an interest in Science and Technology.
It was definitely an invaluable experience.