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Media Release

26 January, 2007

Mobile science centre hits the streets


It's yellow, it's mellow and it's a jolly smart fellow. It's the province's bright new mobile science centre, initiated by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) in close partnership with Cape Town's MTN Sciencentre.

"This mobile science centre can bring all the fun and excitement of discovery to disadvantaged schools in peri-urban areas, isolated schools in rural regions, and the Dinaledi maths and science schools," said enthusiastic Western Cape education MEC Cameron Dugmore.

The WCED and the MTN Sciencentre launched the mobile science centre at the Dinaledi Maths, Science and Technology Conference at the Crawford Campus of the College of Cape Town College, Athlone, today (Friday, 26 January 2007).

The sunshine-yellow panel van is about the size of the new-style minibus taxis, but passengers taking this trip are destined to travel to new frontiers of cutting-edge science. Inside and outside, the van is crammed with gadgets. A laboratory pops up on one side of the vehicle.

A fold-out solar panel shines in the sun. Unpack a box, and it may have the ingredients to make a robot, a radio, or an alarm. Another box may have a motorised skateboard or a satellite cellphone.

"The van is packed with ideas, not passengers," said MTN Sciencentre acting head Julie Cleverdon. "All we have to do is drive the mobile science centre to a school or a matric winter school or park off under a tree if needs be, as long as the teachers and students want us."

The mobile science centre is going to start touring almost immediately. On Friday, 2 Feburary, MTN science centre outreach workers Detlef Basel and Brenda Zondeki will be driving out to Atlantis Secondary School as the very first port of call for this initiative. Learners from Grades 8 to 12 will be be experiencing all that the Mobile Sciencentre has to offer.

"This is a good way to start the new school year, with a focus on learning, and having fun learning," concluded Busi Maqubela, the MTN Sciencentre's Floor Manager.

  • Atlantis Secondary School on the Western Coast was the destination for the Mobile Sciencentre’s first official visit on on Friday, 2 February 2007. The centre demonstrated scientific principles to more than excited 1 000 learners from 09h00 to 13h00. The visit was a resounding success, with every learner and teacher wanting to see what the centre was all about. Judging from the response, the first outing showed that the centre will play a major role in promoting science in the Western Cape in the years ahead.

For further information, contact Julie Cleverdon, MTN Sciencentre, 021 529-8100

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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