Education students in the laboratory

Students from Namibia who are studying toward their Rhodes Education degree recently spent two weeks on campus for contact time. Some of these students are studying toward their MEd(Sci) degrees, and thus also spent some time in the Chemistry Department. They attended a presentation of “A Pollutant’s Tale”, and were especially fascinated by the liquid nitrogen demonstrations.

The teachers also did a practical session of kitchen chemistry, where they experimented with exothermic and endothermic reactions, using ingredients that they can purchase at any supermarket. One teacher remarked that in Namibia the learners have to do a practical examination, set and examined externally. The learners are presented with an assortment of chemicals and glassware and then have to perform various experiments, but at times her learners have never done experiments, because of a lack of resources. “Now”, she said, “I can give them these kitchen ingredients which they can learn to measure and do experiments, to prepare them for their external exam. T  his is such a good idea”.