Learners from schools at Orkney’s Kanana township, in the North West, have been encouraged to take Mathematics and Science to enable them to explore careers in the science and technology sectors. This emerged during a NASA SpaceX educational scientific programme in collaboration with Nettleton Steam Elementary School in Arkansas, USA.
Learners from five local primary schools, learning about space and technology. The schools were identified by Every Child Is Ours organisation, in partnership with the Kanana Retired Teachers Club. The schools partnered with the Nettleton Steam School to participate in a NASA SpaceX educational scientific programme. It is supported by the Expedition 64 NASA Astronauts.
As part of the programme, learners had to showcase their talents and design space equipment like lunar suits, robotic arms and water filtration systems. Every Child Is Ours hopes the initiative will see learners expand their knowledge of space and astronomy. Every Child Is Ours managing director, Dr Zodwa Dlamini, says it is important for more Blacks and young girls to participate.
“My quest is for these kids to become anything that they want, especially when we talk about astronomy. That is one area which we do not have a whole lot of black people and even young girls and it will be great for us to can have them.”
Dr Dlamini adds that a teachers’ exchange programme at these schools is on the cards.
“Where our teachers will go to the states work with them over there and then come back this side and be followed by their colleagues from that side. But in the meantime we are hoping that the children in January into February they will have constant zoom meetings when they do their space education programmes.”
Some learners at Nettleton Steam interacted with astronauts in a spaceship – through video messaging. It was an encouragement for the counterparts in Kanana township.
“You can learn a lot of things about astronauts for example you can go to other space and explore new worlds and so on.”
“For me I will go further with my maths and science because it seems like maths and science have many opportunities that you can do and on your career you can be astronauts you can be scientists and many things that you can do.”
Provincial education authorities believe there’s a need to forge working relationships with other countries. Here’s Education spokesperson, Elias Malindi.
“We are hoping that this partnership of working with students from America will grow and in the future we are looking forward in working with all other international countries. So for us this is a bonus to be able to be exposed at a very young age like other countries are doing when it comes to maths and science.”
The programme was conducted simultaneously – despite an eight-hour time difference between the US and South Africa.
South Africa is still at the bottom of the global average in maths and science:
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