Western Cape nominates Provincial Finalist for the Kader Asmal Teachers Award

Western Cape nominates
Provincial Finalist for the
Kader Asmal Teachers Award

Ms Olga Peel

Eskom Expo for Young Scientists

A big congratulations to Ms Olga Peel, a full time teacher at Bishops Diocesan College, who won the Western Cape Nomination for the 2018 National Kader Asmal Teacher Award.

Ms Peel volunteers for the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists and has been instrumental in promoting the Expo for Young Scientists in many schools across the Cape Metropole.

In addition to being a member of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists Board of Directors, she is also the Cape Town Science Fair Director and the Coordinator of Judging at the Eskom Expo International Science Fair.

As an educator, her mission in life has always been to spread the message of the scientific method, engineering process and scientific research to hundreds of teachers and students. Ms Peel has conducted workshops for teachers and learners over a period of more than fifteen years to familiarise them with the scientific method and the engineering process. She has organised mini-science expos and district expos across Cape Town and beyond to assist and prepare students from all walks of life for the Cape Town Expo. Workshops and mini-expos/district expos have been held in Khayelitsha (COSAT HS), Mitchells Plain (Spine Road HS), Southern Suburbs (South Peninsula HS) and Central (Rylands HS), as well as in the Northern Suburbs (Kenridge Primary).

Ms Peel has also arranged teacher academies in the fourth quarter of the academic year at her school, Bishops Diocesan College, in Rondebosch. She has been instrumental in using IT and eLearning to spread the message of the Expo. During her period at the helm of the Expo in Cape Town, hundreds of budding scientists (450–600 students annually) have benefitted from the Expo for Young Scientists. Through her efforts the seeds for young enquiring minds were sown. It is believed that many science and engineering graduates from the Cape Town region have cut their teeth having entered and participated in the Expo. Several of these young scientists have excelled in international science fairs held in the USA. Moreover, Ms Peel’s determination and efforts to spread the message of the Expo to the historically disadvantaged community in Cape Town is admirable and a humbling experience. Her emphasis on excellence and discipline in her organisation has ensured an extremely high standard of competition, a key ingredient in producing excellence and dedication amongst the youth.

Ms Peel is described as a remarkable person with superb leadership qualities. The success at the Cape Town Expo for Young Scientists is largely due to her insistence on planning events thoroughly and ensuring that deadlines are adhered to by the volunteers on her committee as well as by participating schools. She has hosted the Cape Town Expo at UCT, the Good Hope Centre and the Science Centre at Canal Walk. She is exceptionally detail oriented which has ensured the success of these events around Cape Town. She is credited as being a catalyst in the Cape Town region for encouraging and enabling the youth to grapple with everyday problems and seek scientific solutions to remedy them.

We wish Ms Peel the best of luck in the National finals at the National Teaching Awards to be held in February 2019.