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Department of University Relations

New Science Facility Celebrated First Birthday


Posted on 28 January 2010

Left to right -  Mrs Liz Gips;  Kgothatso Manaka (UP medical student); Prof Cheryl de la Rey; US ambassador to South Africa, Mr Donald Gips; Pule Phetla (UP Engineering student) and UP's Senior Vice-Principal Prof Chris De Beer. Both UP-students were members of the Mae Jemison US Science Reading Room.
Left to right - Mrs Liz Gips; Kgothatso Manaka (UP medical student); Prof Cheryl de la Rey; US ambassador to South Africa, Mr Donald Gips; Pule Phetla (UP Engineering student) and UP's Senior Vice-Principal Prof Chris De Beer. Both UP-students were members of the Mae Jemison US Science Reading Room.

The Mae Jemison US Science Reading Room will tomorrow celebrate its first year of existence since it was publicly opened to students and school learners at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus on 26 January 2009. This science facility was established and launched as a partnership between the United States Embassy and the University of Pretoria.

Since its inception, there has been regular science education programmes which took place during 2009. Apart from also hosting English language classes, the facility has also presented over 30 science programmes. Students from Mamelodi and surrounding townships attend programmes and have regularly made use of the facility in terms of doing their homework, lending books and also using computers available at the facility.

The Mae Jemison US Science Reading Room can accommodate approximately 60 people. It has three sections: a reading room, exhibition space and an audio-visual auditorium. The facility houses approximately houses approximately 3 000 books and films and 58 magazine subscriptions with an emphasis on science and technology and other related topics. It also has five computers with internet access and an exhibition area for exhibitions, science experiments and demonstrations. The an udio-visual auditorium also enables multi-media presentations and sessions.

According to the Director of the Mamelodi campus, Mr Edwin Smith, although the primary beneficiaries of the facility’s programmes are school going learners from Mamelodi, the programmes are expanded to accommodate a wide scope of people. “We will be expanding our programmes further to include primary school learners, educators and community members. This comes as a result of a continuous increase in demand for usage of the facility from communities”, said Smith.


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