MyLab Chemistry & Natural Science Kits
Physical Science is one of the subjects in high school that is of utmost importance for the development of
an economically, and technologically sound country. A small number of pupils in general take physical science as
subject and the general results of examinations are unsatisfactory.
The poor average percentage achieved for Chemistry by grade 12 pupils in many developing countries, over the past
years can be attributed to various factors. One of the most important factors is the fact that pupils are not motivated
to study chemistry. This can be attributed to inadequate teaching strategies, the most important of which is the fact that
the pupils do not perform the chemical practicals themselves. If pupils were allowed to do the experiments
(which support the theory) themselves, it could contribute to a better visualization and lead to better understanding of concepts.
The Mylab General Science and Chemistry kits are but one of the most important interventions which provide both learners and
educators the opportunity to “Do Science” at school – thus making practical sense of the theoretical input shared. This intervention
also addresses the effects of setbacks caused by inadequate teaching strategies, with the most important being the inability to
perform general science and chemistry practicals by the incumbents themselves.
A unique approach to practical work was needed to address this problem of visualization. The Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science
kits is the product of many years of development by well qualified and experienced chemistry lecturers at the North-West
University, Potchefstroom Campus. They have been involved in the training of Physical Science teachers for the past 25 years.
The Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits was developed in close cooperation with learning facilitators and learners. The
result is an unique and ingenious mini-laboratory for all chemistry and natural science experiments at school for grades 4
to 12. We are of the opinion that, if the Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits is made available to schools, many of
the problems in the teaching of chemistry and natural science could be solved.
By design, the Mylab General Science and Chemistry kit is a product of many years of development by well qualified and
experienced North-West University lecturers, learning facilitators and learners, and its success is attributed to
presentations, workshops and congresses done at international forums by invitation – Europe, Asia; North America,
African countries respectively (eg: Budapest, Hungary (August 2000), Beijing, China (August 2002), Istanbul, Turkey
(August 2004), Seoul, South Korea (August 2006), Vienna, Austria (April 2001), Linz, Austria (April 2003), Eisenstadt,
Austria (April, 2005), Leoben, Austria (April, 2007), Hong Kong Baptist University (December, 2001). Mexico City,
Mexico (18-20 May 2005) Maseru, Lesotho (January 2008) Bloomington, Indiana (July, 2008) Safed, Israel (8 – 11 Sept. 2008).
The Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science team works in cooperation with several leading scientists at international level – eg:
- Prof John Kotz of the State University New York, author of the first level Chemistry textbook which is used over the
world – visited the Mylab team in 2006 and did presentations and workshops in the North West Province
- Prof Lise Kvittingen and Mr. Per-Odd Eggen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway –
visited the Mylab team in 2006 and 2007. Over and above their involvement in the province, they both introduced the Mylab kit
solution to Ethiopian schools for use in the Norway/Ethiopia chemistry project in chemistry, as well as export the Mylab kits in
2008 to Norway to be used in Norwegian schools.
In summary, the Quality Assurance Chief Directorate led by Mr JAT Tholo and his team gave the following feedback
following the equipping of 455 schools and 4000 science learners by the North West Department of Education over the
2003-2006 period: “The project has been successful in most aspects and is a model for education / industry partnerships.
North West University is to be applauded for their foresight in establishing this programme in 2003. There are
significant quantitative advantages to learners in studying chemistry through the NWU modules. Project material
should continue to be developed with consideration given to the directions as indicated in the national curriculum,
and the project should be more widely implemented within the province. The management of the project should be transferred
to the provincial department of education. The project model should be used in the development of chemistry education
resources for primary and middle school educators.”
One On One Community Based Programmes is therefore of the opinion as well as support the premise that availing Mylab
General Science and Chemistry kits to public schools in SA would resolve the numerous problems affecting the quality of
outputs in terms of and including matriculation pass rates.