Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Boot Camp for first-year students

LEARNING MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE: A group of first-year students, facilitators and coordinators attended a three-day Fundani CHED STEM Bootcamp which took place at the Bellville campus. LEARNING MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE: A group of first-year students, facilitators and coordinators attended a three-day Fundani CHED STEM Bootcamp which took place at the Bellville campus.

CPUT STEM Learning Centre in conjunction with the Imbadu Club (Boot Camp) recently hosted a three-day boot camp at the Bellville campus which was designed for first-year students who have challenges with understanding mathematical and science concepts.

In her motivational keynote, PhD candidate in Engineering Education at the University of Cape Town, Ekaterina Rzyankina, said Imbadu introduces the first-year students to a range of strategies for learning mathematics and science.

Rzyankina added that it also deepens the students’ knowledge in key areas of the curriculum by identifying the knowledge gaps.  “[The boot camp also] develops their understanding of how key concepts that underpin mathematics or science are linked together across the subject,” she said.

She also advised students to love numbers. “Make it part of life. You can do maths in the rain.”

The boot camp took place over three days with three group work sessions on days one and two, and two group work sessions and the closing session on day 3. Mathematics and science sessions were conducted concurrently covering all the sections in the respective subject guidelines. The sessions were conducted by the Fundani Student Learning Unit (SLU)-based learning facilitators.

Fundani CHED University Capacity Development Grant Project Team member, David Haarhoff said the goal was to assist students who are in need of working through various concepts relating to maths and science for preparation for their final exams. “Students at risk of failing were granted the opportunity to attend. Capacity was limited with the intent of hosting more such events in future,” said Haarhoff.

He was also impressed with the level of engagement g with students throughout the event. The concept of teaching and learning was prevalent for the duration of the three-day event and the project team received “good feedback” from the students who attended the bootcamp.

Motivational speakers included Dr Nosisana Mkonto, Head of Department: Fundani Student Learning Unit, Lauren Davids, Academic Development Practitioner:  Fundani CHED, Dr Mark Jacobs, Lecturer: Electrical Engineering Department, Dr Ignatius John Senior Physics Lecturer in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Dr George Buzuzi ECP Mathematics Lecturer: Mathematics and Physics Department.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce