During Space week SUNSTEP visited all nine provinces and taught learners about electronics Systems and Control and launched a model rocket 350 meters into the sky. Learners loved it


Miranda Myburgh and Kimberley teachers

 World Space week


World Space week
SUNSTEP submitted a proposal to the Department of Science and Technology and SAASTA to train the teachers of Kimberley in the Northern Cape and Polokwane in Limpopo, as part of the World Space week initiative.  We were therefore thrilled when it was granted. Communication with Kimberley and Polokwane started and the dates were set. 
The Educator Training Workshop
Miranda Myburgh conducted the workshop in Kimberley and 20 teachers attended.  Although Technology has been a learning area since 1999 and soldering has been part of the curriculum, not one of the 20 teachers have ever soldered before, neither did they know how to work out resister values. 
The theory part of the workshop was completed first.  The educators asked questions and made sure that they understood.  By their actions it was very clear that 50% of the educators have never even seen the components before and it took a while before the concept of polarity was understood.  Then the soldering started.  Once again 50% battled to solder.   It is important that the educators are sure that they understand and have mastered the dexterity to ensure that they will be able to teach their learners when we send the kits and tools to the school.
Follow up
The kits and the necessary tools were posted to each school to enable the learners to have this learning experience.  Each educator also received an educational CD with the Teacher manual and Learner workbook on it.  This will help the educator to master the theory and empower him/her with more knowledge to be able to answer any learner’s questions.  The Northern Cape Education Department officials in Kimberley enquired from the teachers in the Upington area, who in turn all gave very positive feedback about how SUNSTEP helped them master the Electricity and Electronics concepts and practical work. 
Twenty-four schools (38 Teachers) and a few Facilitators participated successfully, notwithstanding the workshop taking place on a Friday afternoon at the end of the month. In terms of the programme, the participating schools are equipped with the appropriate tools and 40 electronic kits, to be implemented by participating Teachers on classroom level. Each Teacher also received an educational CD with the Teacher manual and Learner workbook on it.  This will help the Teacher to master the theory and empower him/her with more knowledge to be able to answer any learner’s questions.
Workshop Focus
Introduction to the basics of Electronics, using the assembly of a multi-vibrator circuit as the vehicle to address Technology Learning Outcome 2 for Senior Phase Learners, formed the basis of the workshop.
Emphasis was placed on:
·        Hand skills: Using soldering iron, flux, solder, pliers, cutters, solder sucker etc.
·        Ability to discriminate and determine values and sizes of components as identified according to illustrations in the resource material.
·        Ability to discriminate polarity of components and understand the circuit
·         Understanding of how to transfer the knowledge by means of good classroom practice. 
·         The ability to understand the principles and design of the Revised National Curriculum, learning outcomes and assessment standards in Technology.
·         Safety and classroom implementation
·         Basics of circuit design
·         Circuit assembly on printed circuit board
·         Soldering technique
·         Testing and fault finding
Many teachers requested and proposed future involvement in similar Sunstep interventions.  As this was the first Sunstep exposure in the Limpopo Province, we hope to secure their participation in future on an ongoing basis, resources allowing.
If sustainability could be secured in Kimberley, thanks to DST and SAASTA it would be highly appreciated.


Spaceweek workshops


Link to the University of Stellenbosch