Youngsters Thrilled with Experiences at Fun Physics Day
PROTEC Tongaat, a not-for-profit, learner-enhancement programme, recently brought a group of Grade 10 and 11 learners from a variety of schools to UKZN. The learners visited UKZN’s Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC), to enjoy Fun with Physics and also received career counselling by UKZN’s College of Health Sciences.
The learners described their visit as the highlight of their April holidays.
Talks from academics included “Quantum is Good for You” by Professor Francesco Petruccione, “The Unusual Nature of Nature” by Dr Sahal Yacoob, and “Unlocking Secrets of the Sun and the Deep Earth” by Dr Heather McCreadie.
A science show by Dr Tanja Reinhardt and a chemistry demonstration by Mr Ajay Bissessur brought the fundamentals of science alive.
The learners also spent time enjoying the interactive activities available in the Science Centre and visited the Geology museum. ‘Physics will never be the same again,’ said one enthralled learner.
As part of the holiday programme, Grade 12 learners also attended a mini Career Day in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) to assist them with career decision-making; while Grade 11s participated in a bridge building workshop where they designed and built a bridge out of balsa wood.
CHS Student Counsellor Ms Kamilla Rawatlal organised two sessions at the Career Day. The first took students through the process of career decision making by way of reflection of self, abilities, personality and occupational type. This was done to expose students to self-reflection. It was emphasised that ‘information sessions are just ''information sessions'' and without self-reflection they are pointless’.
The second session was an Experiential session and consisted of 22 learners interested in Health Science. The aim of this session was to assist learners in making an informed decision based on sharing and learning from experiences of others in the process of making a career decision.
School of Health Sciences staff members were also present to give the students information about college life and studying. ‘Health Sciences is very demanding. The passion you have when you enter the degree is what will keep you in the degree, no matter how hard it is,’ Ms Andiswa Mbatha, an ADP Officer from Occupational Therapy, told the youngsters.
‘There is so much support at the University. You’re taught how to study and have good time management. As a new learner, you must arrive with a mind that is prepared and open to learning. You’ll get to meet like-minded people and you’ll get the opportunity to become a professional in your field of interest.’
In addition to testing their skills and aptitude in engineering concepts and increasing their understanding of careers in civil engineering, the aim of the workshop was to prepare learners for the South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE) inter-schools bridge building competition in August.
- Sally Frost and Zakia Jeewa