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Inside one of SA’s most advanced state-school laboratories

James de Villiers 

Stellenbosch High School’s new science classrooms will help create “wow moments” for students of all ages, says Niel Retief, department head for life sciences.

The two laboratories, named Life and DNA, were upgraded for a cost of R400,000 each, and are among the most advanced public school laboratories in South Africa.

They features high-speed wi-fi, several television screens, and presentation equipment to immerse students in the sciences while doing experiments.

Inside the DNA laboratory which was renovated at a cost of R40,000 (supplied)

“When we teach, we constantly look for ‘wow’ moments… the twinkle in your learners’ eyes when they grasped a new concept,” Retief told Business Insider South Africa.

“The idea was born to renovate the classrooms into visually stimulating high-tech spaces, where we could use media and technology to create more of these ‘wow’ moments.”

The 40-year-old classrooms were renovated with the help of the Dagbreek Trust and the Atterbury Trust, which seek to advance Afrikaans.

Each was designed with a distinct colour scheme and layout to augment the specific field of sciences taught.

The Life laboratory at Stellenbosch High School (supplied)

“On [their] own they do not necessarily enhance learning. You still need enthusiasm and a love for what you do. Now it is just so much easier,” Retief says.

Three additional classrooms will be constructed which will focus on physics and chemistry.

“What we have now is a space in which learners want to learn. The feedback from learners and staff is extremely positive and I had former learners who said that want to redo biology and life sciences!”

Read original article here.

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