Bristol scientists reach out to help schools in Africa
Press release issued: 8 September 2008
Scientists from Bristol University are taking part in a challenging new science engagement project, which aims to support chemistry outreach work in disadvantaged schools across South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
Staff and postgraduate students from Rhodes University, South Africa, are visiting Bristol’s School of Chemistry this week [7 to 13 September] to gather information about its outreach engagement activities. It is hoped that the fact-finding trip will help them develop their own outreach programmes to take back and employ in townships across the Eastern Cape.
The trip, led by Tim Harrison, Bristol ChemLabS School Teaching Fellow, and Professor Dudley Shallcross from the School of Chemistry, will give the group the opportunity to observe different types of chemistry workshops, including a Bristol ChemLabS science workshop, whereby an ordinary classroom is transformed into a science laboratory.
During the week the group will be visiting a number of outreach activities in the city, including a chemistry workshop at St Annes’ Junior School, a summer school for Spanish students and a session on giving chemistry demonstration lectures.
In October, Bristol University chemists, Linda Sellou and Preeti Kaur, will travel to South Africa to work with colleagues at Rhodes University to design two weeks of activities for secondary and primary schools, and help to train postgraduate chemists in science engagement.
Professor Tim Gallagher, Head of Bristol’s School of Chemistry, said: “It is a great pleasure to be able to host Professor Davies-Coleman and colleagues from Rhodes University in Bristol. It is very clear that we have much to learn from one another and we hope this will provide a basis for developing a unique interaction.”
Head of Rhodes’ School of Chemistry, Professor Mike Davies-Coleman, said: “The South African interest in this collaboration is such that chemical company Afrox has already agreed to support the project. I am hopeful that if we can sustain the momentum in the chemistry outreach collaboration between Rhodes and Bristol universities, more major chemical companies will start to make a real difference by joining us in supporting science teaching in our local schools.”