The Microscience Approach
The initial development of the
microscience approach focused on
secondary school needs, particularly
in chemistry. Providing practical
experiences in chemistry is a priority
because chemicals are consumables,
giving rise to high running costs and
significant hazard and environmental
impact, if used on the traditional scale. Furthermore there is a need to
contribute to life skills development for all future citizens, as regards
"chemical literacy". The microscience approach has met this challenge
very successfully and stimulated interest in its application at other
educational levels and in other sciences.
Subsequent developments have led to the creation of kits for primary
school science and for more advanced secondary school and first year
tertiary level chemistry education (covering electrochemistry, organic
chemistry, volumetric analysis).
As regards other sciences, the electricity kit developed some years ago
has been extended to include electromagnetism and electronics, whilst the biology
range of experiments now includes some botany and zoology, as well as
some elementary biochemistry.
Environmental science has been addressed initially through water
quality testing and treatment. During 2011, RADMASTE designed
small-scale kits for the Global Water Experiment of the International
Year of Chemistry (IYC2011). The kits were endorsed by both UNESCO and
IUPAC and were distributed within South Africa as well as to many UNESCO
member states, to allow learners of all ages around the World to
participate in the Global Experiment.
The scope of the microscience approach
continues to grow, and this Centre contributes actively to this