Innovative maths and science space on the horizon for Faculty of Education

Description: 1 science park Tags: Science Park, Faculty of Education, Family Math and Family Science, Science-for-the-Future (S4F), Dr Cobus van Breda, Prof Loyiso Jita

   Architectural illustration of the planned Science Park on the university’s
   Bloemfontein Campus.
llustration: Destudio Architects and Urban planners

Situated next to the Winkie Direko Building on the University of the Free State’s Bloemfontein Campus, an exciting development in the form of a Science Park is on the horizon for the Faculty of Education

This future development will comprise an outdoor Science Garden and an indoor Science Discovery Centre. It will be characterised by interactive educational displays and exhibitions and will feature an ICT Laboratory, amphitheatre, Family Math and Family Science training facilities, as well as a “planetarium dome simulator”.

The Science Park is in line with the university’s commitment to advance teaching and learning with regard to mathematics and science.

“Since the Science-for-the-Future (S4F) unit from the Faculty of Education focuses on the development of innovative teaching and learning programmes, the envisaged Science Park will support and complement current and future engaged learning initiatives. The Science Park will be a customised teaching and learning environment that embraces and promotes the most effective ways of teaching science, mathematics and technology, through hands-on, interactive, experiential and student-driven educational methods. This will provide opportunities for student teachers from the Faculty of Education, as well as teachers who receive in-service training at the UFS, to enhance the scope of their maths and science pedagogical content knowledge,” said Dr Cobus van Breda, Programme Director of the Science-for-the-Future (S4F) unit in the Faculty of Education.

The Science Park will also serve as a social space on campus where all students can interact within a fun and exciting popular science environment. “We see this as a creative approach to the use of spaces on campus to create an aesthetic and educational added value,” said Prof Loyiso Jita, Dean of the Faculty of Education.

In future, the Science Park, along with the existing synergy between the science and mathematics training programmes based at the Faculty of Education, the Naval Hill Planetarium and the Boyden Observatory, will provide a rich and unique opportunity to experience real-life science as well as content in context; all contributing factors to effective teaching and learning.

The Science Park project is estimated to be completed by the end 2019.