TRAC is a national programme, the objective of which is to encourage and enable school leavers to enter careers in science, engineering, and technology. This is achieved via several parallel mechanisms, all aimed at making specialised science laboratory equipment, syllabus relevant content, and vocational guidance material available to schools. Funding is provided by industrial partners, particularly the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and the National Department of Transport, whose primary objective is enhancing the opportunities of learners from previously disadvantaged communities.

The equipment and content focus on the physical science component of the school syllabus but the TRAC Programme extends more broadly, seeking to demonstrate the linkages between the different study areas of physical science, biology, geography, and technology and for that matter, everyday life. Within this framework, the programme provides a mechanism for giving learners access to and contact with modern technology as part of the standard school syllabus, rather than in addition to it. This results in learners developing a degree of computer literacy and familiarity with modern technology whilst studying and experiencing the fundamentals of physical science as set out in the South African School syllabus.

Because the TRAC PAC, the central element of the TRAC Programme is relatively portable, no special laboratory facilities are required. Any school with access to a computer, or to one of the regional TRAC Labs, can implement the TRAC Programme, enabling learners to participate in the prescribed laboratory work. With the sponsored equipment and a computer in hand, most of the experiments can be conducted with the most basic of equipment, such as a beach ball, a piece of old guttering, a piece of plastic pipe etc. Detailed TRAC worksheets guide both the learners and the educators through the syllabus, enabling the teacher to assess the learners using OBE guidelines.

This paper provides a brief overview of the TRAC Programme and shares some of its successes and failures in communicating science and technology to developing communities, its involvement in providing some formal content in Science Centres and some initiatives to expand the programme’s ability to communicate science and technology to a broader community.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

On TRAR in science education

Wayne R Duff- Riddell   Stellenbosch University

TRAC is a national programme, the objective of which is to encourage and enable school leavers to enter careers in science, engineering, and technology. This is achieved via several parallel mechanisms, all aimed at making specialised science laboratory equipment, syllabus relevant content, and vocational guidance material available to schools. Funding is provided by industrial partners, particularly the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and the National Department of Transport, whose primary objective is enhancing the opportunities of learners from previously disadvantaged communities.

The equipment and content focus on the physical science component of the school syllabus but the TRAC Programme extends more broadly, seeking to demonstrate the linkages between the different study areas of physical science, biology, geography, and technology and for that matter, everyday life. Within this framework, the programme provides a mechanism for giving learners access to and contact with modern technology as part of the standard school syllabus, rather than in addition to it. This results in learners developing a degree of computer literacy and familiarity with modern technology whilst studying and experiencing the fundamentals of physical science as set out in the South African School syllabus.

Because the TRAC PAC, the central element of the TRAC Programme is relatively portable, no special laboratory facilities are required. Any school with access to a computer, or to one of the regional TRAC Labs, can implement the TRAC Programme, enabling learners to participate in the prescribed laboratory work. With the sponsored equipment and a computer in hand, most of the experiments can be conducted with the most basic of equipment, such as a beach ball, a piece of old guttering, a piece of plastic pipe etc. Detailed TRAC worksheets guide both the learners and the educators through the syllabus, enabling the teacher to assess the learners using OBE guidelines.

This paper provides a brief overview of the TRAC Programme and shares some of its successes and failures in communicating science and technology to developing communities, its involvement in providing some formal content in Science Centres and some initiatives to expand the programme’s ability to communicate science and technology to a broader community.

[PDF 221.92 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 221.92 kB)

BACK TO TOP