Durban school pupils enjoyed a fun-filled morning of science at the Science and Technology Education Centre on the Westville campus recently.

In celebration of National Science Week, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science staff went the extra mile to keep about 300 Grade 10 and 11 pupils wowed by the whole spectrum of scientific wonders available at UKZN.

Accommodating 60 learners a day, the programme offered an array of hands-on fun. From simulating tsunamis, to munching on liquid-nitrogen-dipped biscuits, to making chemical concoctions, to analysing microbiological cultures, to exploring the wonders of Antarctica - the learners did it all.

Each day youngsters from four different schools tried their hands at being scientists of the future. The day’s programme included exposure to four different scientific disciplines, a talk on careers available in the sciences, as well as a fun-filled quiz. With a competitive element thrown into the mix, the children were eager to display just how many scientific facts they knew.

‘What is the name of the planet closest to the sun?’

‘Why, Mercury, of course,’ answered a young bright spark

With a delicious tea and lunch, a personal goody bag with useful information and a do-it-yourself scientific experiment for everyone, learners left the University in high spirits, with the importance of science enhanced.

National Science Week is celebrated every year during the first week of August. A Department of Science and Technology initiative run in partnership with public and private institutions, it aims to further the public’s understanding of science and to advance science and technology within South Africa.

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