Science week at Gali Thembani

BIG BRAIN: Grade 5 Louis Rex Primary School pupils won first place at the district science week for their presentation on fire safety. Pictured, from left, are Nomawabo Njara-Swapi, Ntosh Mfamani, Thina Nocanda, Bulelwa Ndodana, Lionel Lidnel and Zandile Dick                       Picture: NTSIKELELO QOYO

Primary school pupils were challenged to put on their thinking caps and creatively tackle the theme ‘energy and change’ at this year’s national science week.

Hosted by the department of education, this year seven primary schools from the Komani and Cacadu circuit management centres were at the Gali Thembani centre for the district event where grade 4 to 6 pupils presented.

The week aims to promote pupil enthusiasm for science. Grade 4 pupils were challenged to create musical instruments and explain how they worked. Those in grade five had to create posters and charts on how fire in buildings can be managed while grade 6 pupils had to prove their brains by taking a quiz on this year’s theme.

Louis Rex Primary School impressed, winning the top prize for grade 6 while coming second in the grade 4 competitions. A guitar designed by pupils from Cacadu-based Ntlalontle Senior Primary School won the grade 4 category while a poem by Emmet Mahonga Primary pupils wowed the judges for the grade 5 competition.

Department of education Eastern Cape monitor, Maki Zihlangu, said the week was paramount in getting primary school pupils excited about sciences. “Throughout the years it has been difficult for pupils to participate in these weeks at higher grades and university. The purpose is to promote pupil participation throughout the province and encourage teachers and pupils to do more when it comes to science. It is one of the critical subjects in which pupils struggle in higher grades. We want to start enthusiasm for sciences at a younger age.”

He said the event had to be cut down because of Covid-19. “We usually have these celebrations on a large scale, but because of Covid we had to have it on a smaller scale. We felt it would be a disservice to the children if we did not do anything at all. Some schools did not even have district-level science weeks, but only partook at school level to avoid travelling and congestion. In Komani we had a big hall and all pupils participated while observing Covid-19 regulations.”

Louis Rex grade 4 and 6 teacher Nomawabo Njara-Swapi said she was proud of the way her pupils performed. “I feel great because we were nervous. I am proud to see our pupils had a firm grasp of what they are supposed to be learning.”