Umjikelezo We Science Festival 2017
Kitchen Chemistry spent a week in Durban (4-8 September) helping a group of local science communicators deliver inspirational science to rural schools around Durban. The Festival itself was a pilot and took place Tuesday to Thursday, but there is always something for the Kitchen Chemist to do!
Having arrived safely in Durban I had the Monday morning to check over the equipment that the Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC) at the University of KwaZulu Natal had put together for me.
My first event was a workshop for educators hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME). CASME did a great job of attracting a substantial audience of engaged educators.
I had not already done a show so I was able to use the workshop to show and explain the preparations that are necessary prior to performing the demonstrations. I also managed to supply some teachers with my portable “conical flasks” which are still on offer in the shop.
On Tuesday we all met at the KZN Science Centre offices. Where “All” included the UniZulu Science Centre, KZN Science Centre, Durban Natural Science Museum and thier Go-Wild outreach bus, CASME with the Science to Go bus, and STEC with their Science 4 You bus.
Over the three day festival we visited three schools in outlying areas at Sidelile, Phezulu and Qinisani. In total nearly 1,500 schoolchildren were able to interact with the hands-on stalls and experience a Kitchen Chemistry science show.
On my final day I was taken to a rural primary to show them some kitchen chemistry, and then I went through a few demonstrations with the staff at the STEC. The video shows the “whoosh bottle” demonstration which needs to be carried with confidence and care so it is good to practise with experienced supervision.