Introduction

 "Striving to be the best STEMI centre of excellence in South Africa"

Located on the Soweto Campus (SWC) of the University of Johannesburg, the Soweto Science Centre (SSC) in the Faculty of Science was primarily established to address pressing problems associated with human capital development, which South Africa as a member of the global community of nations is grappling with. The critical problems manifest themselves in the form of acute shortage of skilled scientists and technicians required for sustainable economic growth and development. 

The mandate of SSC is geared towards the provision of tuition to learners and development of teachers in order to improve the quality of mathematics and science education in South Africa. The core vision of the Soweto Science Centre is essentially underpinned by the notion that human capital development remains a key strategic priority for the fulfilment of societal and economic needs within the broader South African context. 

Sustaining the core activities of the Centre which are anchored on skills development and capacity building requires vibrant partnerships with various key social partners with a view to leverage much needed funding. The realisation of the transformational impact of strategic initiatives put in place in the long term requires concerted efforts aimed at meaningful improvement of the quality of mathematics and science education within a South African context. As the epicentre of pedagogic innovation, the Soweto Science Centre is adopting nuanced approaches in dealing with the critical challenges associated with learner performance in mathematics and science within a broader context. The SSC has embarked upon a two-pronged strategy whereby a comprehensive in-service training and teacher development programme has been developed as well as extra-classes for learners in STEMI. Rather than waiting for the learners to come to the universities (by then it is too late), the Centre provides appropriate interventions for high school learners in mathematics and sciences to prepare them for higher education.


The principal activities of the Soweto Science Centre include:

  • Teaching theory lessons in mathematics, physical sciences and life sciences; 
  • Conducting supervised laboratory and tutorial sessions;
  • Conducting computer training; 
  • Participating in and organizing public talks, expo days, science days, career festivals and National Science Week activities; 
  • Promoting mathematics and science through outreach projects 


Vision

"To be the best STEMI centre of excellence in South Africa"

This vision is rooted in the creation and consolidation of a culture of science in communities providing a meaningful platform for the utilization of science and technology as a powerful engine of industrial and social transformation. It is a stimulating user facility that aims to be the centre of excellence in Mathematics and Science for school learners from Soweto and the surrounding areas. It is this vision that underpins programmes and projects outlined herein. 



Mission

To ensure higher enrolment of previously disadvantaged learners, in the Faculty of Science;
To increase the number of previously disadvantaged girl learners in STEMI related fields;
To promote interest, learning and creativity in STEMI, through imaginative and enjoyable experiences;
To contribute to the development of human capacity in STEMI in South Africa;
To provide a stimulating learning environment for school learners and improve their results in order to enrich their knowledge in STEMI;
To recruit competent and excellent facilitators;
To improve the knowledge content of STEMI teachers;
To recruit expert and skillful facilitators to impart knowledge in STEMI subjects to teachers; 
To bridge the gap in STEMI between high school and university;
To provide laboratories, including mobile laboratories for experiments for previously disadvantaged learners and teachers;
To create and foster a more fruitful intellectual community that will solve the fundamental and basic problems of Soweto and South Africa through innovation in STEMI in order to contribute to the scientific and economic growth of South Africa