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The Smithsonian at Mdantsane, Eastern Cape

I fairly recently had meeting with Dr. Claudia Beck Reinhardt of the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council. She is a dynamic woman with a very strong vision. She sees the best possible facilities being installed in - of all places - the most neglected areas. In fact, she wants to set up something like the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. in Mdantsane (the township of East London / Buffalo City). The idea is to create a centre for touch and feel science learning - with thematically arranged rooms. For instance, in a planetarium, you might be able to see and feel the movement of the planets around the sun, learn about acceleration and velocity, differential equations with custom crafted learning aids. In the the biology lab, you might be astonished by the inner workings of an ant colony or a bee hive. In the morning teachers book the rooms for their classes and learners travel from their school to the Centre to receive special education by dedicated science teacher specialists working at the centre. In the afternoon the centre is open to the public, free of charge. It provides a wonderful alternative to the mundane reality outside and teaches at the same time. A large part of the idea is heightening awareness of the importance of Maths and Science in every day life.

Good luck with the project Claudia!! We hope it flies, and we hope to provide some great communication software for the computer lab!

Posted: March 29th 2008 11:26

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