Since 2006 (Phase I : Inkaba yeAfrica, the EarthWISE office of the Africa Earth Observatory Network (AEON) has been functioning from the University of the Free State (UFS). Its office is
based in the Geology Department at the Faculty Agricultural and Natural Science (FANS).
AEON EarthWISE is staffed and run on a budget provided by the Ellerman Scholarship made available by the AEON head office, University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Inkaba yeAfrica German-South African collaborative research initiative. The current activities of EarthWISE builds on 10 years of experience* gained during the period 1995-2005, whilst being managed from UCT.
During the previous two years, AEON EarthWISE continued to provide training for natural science teachers in the Intermediate and Senior Phases and to increase the science awareness of communities in rural areas.
Three successful projects for 2008/9 were completed, managed by Mariette Erwee, MSc (Geol. - Science Education) (2009) and Huibrie Joubert (2008).
|Outreach 2009 : AEON EarthWISE (Ref. Mariette Erwee, MSc - UFS)|
|1 Teacher Training||4||18||Theory, Demo|
|2 Science Roadshow - in combo with||5||126||99||Displays|
|3 Family Math & Science Workshops||Workshops|
|4 National Science Week Workshops||27||48||Workshops, Activity Books|
|5 Kroonstad Road Show||6||290||Interactive Displays, Multimedia|
|6 Educational Material Development :|
|6.1 Lab-Boxes||Lab-Boxes, manuals|
|6.2 Activity Books (2)||Activity Books|
The first was a science weekend in Prieska, consisting of a teacher training workshop, a science road show and Family Math and Science workshops hosted by the Research Institute for Education Planning (RIEP) of the UFS.
The second project was two teacher trainings during the National Science Week program of Boyden Science Centre.
The third project was a science road show in Kroonstad in collaboration with FANS - UFS.
During 2008 and 2009, EarthWISE developed useful workshop material to aid in the training of teachers. Special manuals and accompanying lab boxes were assembled specifically for the geological sessions of the workshops. Two full activity books (one for Intermediate and one for Senior Phase teachers) were also developed, containing practical classroom activities for the whole subsection “The Planet Earth and Beyond” of the National Curriculum Statement in South Africa.
Supplementary budget allocations for Outreach came from the Northern Cape Department of Education; Boyden Science Centre at UFS; UFS' FANS marketing and by SAASTA** (The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement) an agency of the NRF (National Research Foundation).
SAASTA is the official NRF vehicle for facilitating the promotion of science and technology in our society. The NRF is the key public entity responsible for supporting human resource capacity for research, technology and innovation development in the fields of science and technology.
* Note Living Africa Sub-Project 3.2.b-8. Reference: Tredoux M and Rochford K (2006) - An evaluation of the educational impact of the EarthWISE geoscience project on a disadvantaged rural community in South Africa. Proceedings of the 5th Global Congress on Eng.Educ., Brooklyn, NY, USA. Obtainable from the UICEE, Monash Univ., Melbourne, Australia
** SAASTA was formerly known as the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology (FEST). The organisation changed it's name after being incorporated into the National Research Foundation (NRF) in December 2002