Creating Climate Change Awareness in South African Schools Through Practical Chemistry Demonstrations

Suthananda Sunassee, Ryan Young, Joyce Sewry, Tim Harrison, Dudley Shallcross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

In accordance with the requirements for the National Curriculum Statement for both Life sciences and Physical sciences and the importance of community engagement in Higher Education in South Africa, this paper described the use of the lecture-demonstration ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ to create climate change awareness amongst school learners. ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ was performed to a total of 981 school learners and 25 educators from both advantaged and disadvantaged areas of the Western Cape province of South Africa. Both learners and educators were asked to complete their respective questionnaires after the demonstration. The learners’ attitudes towards science and the learning of science concepts after the demonstration were described. The educators’ views, perceptions and evaluations on using such demonstrations to promote positive attitudes towards science were also discussed. Both the learners and their educators thoroughly enjoyed the demonstration of ‘A Pollutant’s Tale’ and they were also made aware of the causes and effects of climate change on our environment. More importantly, this outreach initiative has helped to spark an interest in the learners’ minds not only about chemistry but about science in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-48
Number of pages18
JournalActa Didactica Napocensia
Volume5
Issue number4
Early online date30 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Community engagement
  • Demonstrations
  • Climate Change
  • Outreach
  • Science awareness
  • Disadvantaged schools

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