READ REPORT HERE about Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science Kits by
SCI-BONO after a recent Presentation in Johannesburg in May 2012
Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science Kits won first prize at:
What’s happening with Chemistry and Natural Science around the World:
Here in South Africa: Hands-on Teaching with Mylab Chemistry and Natural Science kits…
Physical Science is one of the subjects in high school that is of utmost importance for the development of an economically, and technologically sound country. A small number of pupils in general take physical science as subject and the general results of examinations are unsatisfactory.
The poor average percentage achieved for Chemistry by grade 12 pupils in many developing countries, over the past years can be attributed to various factors. One of the most important factors is the fact that pupils are not motivated to study chemistry. This can be attributed to inadequate teaching strategies, the most important of which is the fact that the pupils do not perform the chemical practicals themselves. If pupils were allowed to do the experiments (which support the theory) themselves, it could contribute to a better visualization and lead to better understanding of concepts.
A unique approach to practical work was needed to address this problem of visualization. The Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits is the product of many years of development by well qualified and experienced chemistry lecturers at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. They have been involved in the training of Physical Science teachers for the past 25 years. The Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits was developed in close cooperation with learning facilitators and learners. The result is an unique and ingenious mini-laboratory for all chemistry and natural science experiments at school for grades 4 to 12. We are of the opinion that, if the Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits is made available to schools, many of the problems in the teaching of chemistry and natural science could be solved.
Successes of Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits: Presentations and workshops on Mylab were done on invitation abroad at Chemistry and Education Congresses, e.g.: Budapest, Hungary (August 2000), Beijing, China (August 2002), Istanbul, Turkey (August 2004), Seoul, South Korea (August 2006), Vienna, Austria (April 2001), Linz, Austria (April 2003), Eisenstadt, Austria (April, 2005), Leoben, Austria (April, 2007), Hong Kong Baptist University (December, 2001). Mexico City, Mexico (18-20 May 2005) Maseru, Lesotho (January 2008) Bloomington, Indiana (July, 2008) Safed, Israel (8 – 11 Sept. 2008).
Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science works in international cooperation with several leading scientists. Prof John Kotz of the State University New York, author of the first level Chemistry textbook which is used over the world, visited Mylab in 2006. He helped in the presentation of workshops in the North-West Province. Prof Lise Kvittingen and Mr. Per-Odd Eggen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, visited Mylab in 2006 and 2007. They helped with the presentation of workshops in the North-West Province. They also took Mylab kits to Etiopia which are used in the Norway/Etiopia project in chemistry in the Etiopian schools. Mylab kits were also exported in 2008 to Norway to be used in the Norwegian schools.
Below is a sample of the Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science training DVD’s that have been made for all experiments.
About 18 000 Mylab Chemistry & Natural Sciencekits were sold during the past 10 years. Over the period 2003-2006, the North-West Education Department equipped about 455 schools with the grade 10 to 12 kit. About 4000 science learners were involved. (See quality assurance chief directorate report evaluation of the chemistry student lab project by Mr. JAT Tholo and his team). A Summary of this team’s feedback is: In summary, the project has been successful in most aspects and is a model of education / industry partnerships. NWU is to be applauded for their foresight in establishing this programme in 2003. The verification for the need of such programmes in South Africa has only increased since then. There are significant quantitative advantages to learners in studying chemistry through the NWU modules. Project material should continue to be developed with consideration given to the directions as indicated in the national curriculum, and the project should be more widely implemented within the province. The management of the project should be transferred to the provincial department of education. The project model should be used in the development of chemistry education resources for primary and middle school educators.