Launched in January 2007, the ‘science van’ has been taking the excitement of science to learners across the Western Cape and South Africa. The WCED Mobile Science Centre is sponsored by the Western Cape Education Department and operated by the Cape Town Science Centre.
It is a Mercedes high roof panel van packed with boxes of puzzles and other goodies of scientific intrigue. Puzzles are compact and robust, and can be unpacked and spread out to accommodate a fairly large group of learners. The contents of the van can be changed easily to suit special requests or venue limitations. During a typical school visit, the hands-on puzzles are supplemented with science shows and demonstrations.
Since 2009, the Inflatable Planetarium travels with the WCED Mobile Science Centre and brings the wonders of astronomy to learners in the middle of the day.
The WCED Mobile Science Centre can come to YOUR SCHOOL!
Contact Tasneem on 021 300 3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a booking.
The WCED Inflatable Planetarium is an immersive environment that promotes learning about our universe, planets, eclipses and inventions that helped shape the way we see the universe today.
Shows on offer:
Earth’s Wild Ride (duration 20 mins, suitable for ages 5+)
Learn about solar eclipses, the ice age, volcanoes, extinction of the dinosaurs, the water cycle and food chains in this exciting show as seen from the perspective of a family living on the Moon.
The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket (duration 20 mins, suitable for ages 5+)
Discover the planets in our Solar System in this imaginative journey through space in a cardboard rocket.
Two Small Pieces of Glass (duration 20 mins, suitable for ages 5+)
Discover the history of the telescope and learn about the Hubble Space telescope, the radio telescope and huge land based telescopes in this informative show.
The WCED Mobile Science Centre outreach team also offers the following Grade 10 – 12 formal and informal practical experiments at your school.
- Acceleration – Motion in one dimension – Let’s get moving and explore the science of motion in one direction.
- Heating and cooling curve of water – Observe the change of state of water graphically.
- Electric circuits: resistance in series and parallel – Construct circuits and use ammeters and voltmeters to measure resistance in series and parallel circuits.
- Ohm’s Law – Investigate the relationship between voltage, current and resistance.
- Intermolecular forces – Boiling points, melting points, surface tension, solubility and capillarity.
- Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion – Investigate the relationship between force and acceleration.
- Snell’s Law – Learn about the refraction of light and how to calculate the refractive index.
- Exothermic and endothermic reactions – Is it an exothermic or an endothermic reaction? Experiment to find out.
- Cation and anion tests – Identify cations and anions using flame and precipitation tests.
- Reaction rate – An experiment demonstrating factors that can speed up a chemical reaction.
- Titrations – How to determine the concentration of sodium hydroxide using oxalic acid.
- Esters – What are they? How do we make them? Discover the sweet smell of esterification.
- Conservation of linear momentum – Use a dynamics trolley and ticker tape to demonstrate conservation of linear momentum.
- The internal resistance of a battery – Build an electric circuit and use a known resistor to determine the internal resistance of a battery.
- Value of ‘g’ – Make your own pendulum to determine the value of ‘g’
View the practical experiments on You Tube:
Temperature & rate of reaction
Determine the value of ‘g’
Identifying cations by means of a flame test
Resistance in series and parallel circuits
Conservation of momentum
Endothermic & exothermic reactions
Internal resistance in a battery