MyLab Chemistry & Natural Science Kits

Physical Science is one of the subjects of utmost importance taught at pre-tertiary level for the development of an economically and technologically sound country. It has however been observed that a small number of pupils in general take physical science as a subject, albeit with unsatisfactory results.

The poor average percentage achieved in Chemistry by grade 12 pupils in many developing countries over the past years can be attributed to various factors, with one of the most important factors being motivation. Motivation or lack there of could be attributed to inadequate or inappropriate teaching strategies or methodologies which do not enhance learner involvement in practicals learner involvement can therefore be a stepping stone to a better visualisation and understanding of applicable basic concepts.

The Mylab General Science and Chemistry kits are therefore one of the most important interventions. In other words it is for this reason that this unique approach to practical engagement was needed to address the challenges based on the experience accumulated over 25 years of physical science teacher and learner training. It is for this reason that the result was a unique and ingenious mini-laboratory for all chemistry and natural science experiments at pre-tertiary levels for grades 4-12 . We are therefore of the opinion that, if the Mylab Chemistry & Natural Science kits were 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 Science Faculty. Its success could therefore be attributed to lecturers, learning facilitators and learners, and its success is attributed to presentations, workshops and congresses done at continental and international forums by invitation with the following points of reference: (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).

Some of the leading scientists at international level include the following working in cooperation with the Mylab local team include the following:
  • 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.

As part of the local success evidence, 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 quality matriculation pass rates.