COMMUNITY SERVICE AND INVOLVEMENT
The University of Johannesburg (UJ), like any other organisation encourages staff participation in helping the community in any way we can. A number of activities are in place across the university. As part of the Community Engagement (CE) activist, I participate in various ways, using my strength, skills and opportunities.
Activities include visiting homes for the needy, conduction of Maths and Sciences Classes, including hosting high school learners for Physical Science experiments. Timely, Learners Conferences are also organised.
In this part of involvement, a need is identified in and around our community, meaning the area that is accessible enough for us. Once that has happened, assessment is made in terms of checking, what are the basic needs of the community that we can try and meet? In many cases, we find the need for food, clothing, shelter, books for kids and uniforms. We are still in a process of seeking candidates to help out, but we as the department and concerned individuals continue to donate to the betterment of the needy ones.
Below are some of the pictures taken from ThemebeleNkosini Caregivers, based in Soweto, Senaoane. There is still a need there as the children do not have enough bathrooms, no tables to put their food on as they eat. They have managed to make the best out of the situation but help is always welcome.
Interaction of Dr Sondezi and her team as the youngsters showcase their wisdom.
Dr Sondezi. Nelson Nelufule, Mr P Molefe, Mrs Koketso and staff of ThembeleNkosini.
Redrisse and Daymore from UJ, after our geniuses have rendered us music
A need for space.
Nelson doing what he does best, convincing them that Science and Maths are the key. He told them that if they choose these subjects, they can buy Mercedes Benz! Surely, they were convinced, says Dr Sondezi, laughing!!
SCHOOLS VISITING THE DEPARTMENT
I have always liked to Science and have somehow become an ambassador for the subject, course or a career in these subjects. It fulfils me to help youngsters in his/her endeavours as they pursue these subjects.
An easy way to drill some Science concepts is through experiments. Schools do make appointments, and I gladly schedule convenient time for teachers and learners to come to the University for a Tour and to help them conduct some experiments. We must accept that most of our schools still need educational resources, which include, libraries and laboratories. In cases where there is a limitation in any of the area, help is always available in some of the institutions.
Teachers are free to make contacts and arrange for such.
THEORY BECAME A REALITY
The learners were introduced to MAGNETISM, by conduction a simple experiment to demonstrate a number of concepts from it.
Figure 1 shows the picture of the results of the experiments after they have done one of the experimental steps.
Figure 1: A figure showing magnetic field lines around two bar magnets
It was amazing to hear one saying that he saw magnetic field lines by his naked eye before even the experiment could be done. After seeing the results of the experiment, all their imaginations and theoretical understanding became a reality.
Figure 2: The figure shows the learners in our laboratory, as they were actively involved in their experiment.
Figure 3: The figure shows the learners in our laboratory, after their experiment. Picture time was always a fun time for all groups.
General understanding reveals to us that we are in touch with science on a daily basis. A great percentage of the science we meet is easily explained in or by Physics. Despite this truth, it still remains a reality that most of us, learners and students perceive this subject as one of the difficult ones in the curriculum. In trying to bring a different perspective to this hypothesis and also to encourage our learners and students to choose Physical Science and to undertake Physics related careers, a number of initiatives have to be taken. Dr. B. Sondezi in collaboration with the Physics department in Faculty of Science at University of Johannesburg (UJ) have organised LEARNERS' SCIENCE CONFERENCE (LSC). From this conference we aim to highlight the importance of studying this course and having a career in this field. The conference is comprised of talks that address various questions that our learners and students always have regarding Physics and job opportunities after obtaining a Physics-related degree(s).
We endeavour to invite diverse speakers to cover a number of topics. Topics from solid states physics, astrophysics and theoretical physics. Amongst the speakers, we don't leave out candidates from industry, they bring the real world to our theoretical learning world of the school and University.
Learners as they paid attention to one of the speakers in one of the talks