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a) Science Model Building Competition  
Participating Categories: Junior Secondary: Grade 8 and 9 and Senior Secondary: Grade 10 to 12 categories.

The competition is aimed at schools in disadvantaged areas.

  •     Encourage schools, teachers and learners to work as partners in designing and building science models explaining an existing physical law or a new invention;
  •     Learners use libraries and information resources (also the Internet) to broaden the knowledge they acquire in the classroom;
  •     Learners are encouraged to apply theory learnt in the classroom or through research, to solve problems in daily living;
  •     Learners are given the opportunity to explore their scientific and technologically creative abilities and the practical world of science;
  •     Learners participate in a “safe” environment - the campaign is not in competition with other initiatives of this kind such as the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. Joburg Libraries Psyched for Science model building competition wants to assist in exposing our learners to STEM and to make them aware of their abilities and opportunities.

A minimum of 60 schools are targeted to participate per annum. A working relationship is established with science teachers at participating schools. Adjudicators select the city-wide winners in the various categories, as well as the best new invention and the best girl invention.
During the regional as well as the main event of the Joburg Libraries Psyched for Science model building competition:

  •     Exhibitions on STEM are held at designated libraries and for the main event at recreational centres and/or central facilities;
  •     The exhibitions are coupled with STEM career guidance and motivational talks by experts.
  •     Science demonstrations and interactive activities are organised at the regional and main events to bring the learners into contact with science “alive”.
  •     Workshops are presented at the main event to encourage learners to take up careers in STEM.
  •     Educator workshops are also organised to give educators an opportunity to enhance their science teaching skills.

b) Science quiz

The quiz is aimed at primary school learners in grades 6 and 7, specifically from schools in disadvantaged areas.

  •     Learners use libraries and information resources (also the Internet) to broaden the knowledge they acquire in the classroom.
  •     Learners in Grade 6 and 7 are encouraged to explore the various science information resources to obtain knowledge and information.
  •     The STEM knowledge of learners are broadened beyond their school textbooks.
  •     Learners in Grade 6 and 7 consider the importance of STEM when choosing secondary school subjects.
  •     The competition serves as a foundation for the learners to be able to enter the Joburg Libraries Psyched for Science model competition when they become secondary school learners.
  •     The quiz serves as a foundation to encourage learners to enter Joburg Libraries when they become secondary school learners.

A project team prepares the questions for all the rounds with the assistance of STEM educators and experts.
Schools in each region are invited to enter learners for the competition, with learners given time to read, learn and prepare.  

 School knock-out rounds are held to enable the school to enter a team made up of four (4) to six (6) learners against the other schools in the region (regional rounds).  Ten schools then enter per region for the first round.

  •     Six schools (teams) are eliminated and the top four then compete against one another in the second round.
  •     The regional winning school then participate in round three against the other regional winning teams/schools.
  •     One winning school will triumph at the final round.
  •     The quiz competition focuses on areas of STEM.
  •     Every year the focus is on a different area. For example 2008 will be dedicated to questions on technology and 2009 on engineering.

c) Special library collections on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Special collections in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for learners are being established at specific libraries within the City. The collections house materials in a special area within the libraries and is visibly displayed for the attention of the learners.
Library and information services has free access to e-resources (electronic) at the libraries. These resources include Internet and also form part of the STEM special resources. Educational CD–ROMs on topics of STEM are purchased to complement this collection.

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