Sci-Enza's Holiday Program Celebrates the International Year of the Frog

Posted on April 08, 2008

Frogs were the theme for the 2nd and 4th of April.  On the 3rd of April, children came to meet Byron the Cheetah from the De Wildt Outreach Education Programme. During their encounter with Byron the cheetah educational ambassador, the children were enabled the rare opportunity of sharing a room with a live cheetah.

“Our aim is to expose children from all walks of life to the fun side of Science. We want them to realize that one can get addicted to Science by having positive Science experiences,” elaborates Rudi Horak, Curator of Sci-Enza.   Sci-Enza is the oldest interactive Science Centre in South Africa and is located at the Technical Services Building, on the University of Pretoria’s main campus. According to Horak, the seven new interns at Sci-Enza managed the exciting holiday edutainment excursion for the little ones.

Brief History of Sci-Enza:

Sci-Enza started in 1977 as an open laboratory in the old Physics building by Prof. Lötz Strauss, a professor in the Department of Physics. One of the key characteristics about this “open laboratory” was that it presented students with the rare opportunity to interactively “play” with scientific apparatus within an informal context.

However, the Exploratorium, as it was then called, relocated to other premises on campus and became a trendy place regularly visited by the general public, school learners and students. To add to this attraction, the Camera Obscura, built on the roof of the Natural Sciences building in 1990, spellbound a score of local and international dignitaries at the University of Pretoria’s main campus.

When the San Francisco Exploratorium trademarked their name, the Exploratorium was renamed to Discovery Centre @TUKS. In 2001 the Discovery Centre relocated to larger premises in the Technical Services building and became a truly integrated Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) centre. Since 2005 the centre has thrived under a new name, Sci-Enza. It is significant to mention that the name is a combination of the word “science” and the isiZulu word “sebenza”, meaning “work” or “to do”.


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