Currently the following is evolving within the SMATE Unit:           

Mathematics research

  • Susan Whale (FP science and educative curriculum materials)
  • Nicola van Zyl (FET mathematical teacher knowledge)
  • Thandi Hlam (mathematics teacher collective in FP) completed her MEd and graduated in 2017.
  • Amina Brey completed her PhD and graduated in 2017. She worked with primary school learners and cognitive development through using LEGO blocks.

Science research

  • Collin Bacela (analogies and 1st year Physics students)
  • Dr Les Meiring (FP Science)
  • Kholisa Papu: MEd - Investigating the efficacy of a Science Writing Heuristic in first year mechanical engineering laboratory report writing at the Nelson Mandela University

ICT/Technology research

  • Zweli Balene (Elaborated feedback on LMS)
  • Prudence Mujyambere (Social Media, Digital Storytelling and HIV AIDS currently)

Planning a Science and/or Maths Conference at Nelson Mandela University - Primary school and High school

  • The idea is not competition for SAARMSTE or AMESA, but a conference and colloquium for Teachers in the immediate 60-80km radius with an opportunity to engage and share, very similar to the inspiring teaching conference that we hosted 3 years ago.

ICT Forum

  • Dr Ron Beyers hosted an iPad Forum with teachers from PE in May 2015. The response has been great and schools have also indicated that they want to get their learners involved here.

Engagement and Research in Paterson

  • NRF Research busy to be planned and a meeting has been held with teachers at the school and Prof De Lange, Dr Khau and Prof Du Plessis. The focus is on using ICT and cellphilms to create awareness related to gender violence and xenophobia. Learners will be creating paper based and digital artefacts and these artefacts will be presented to the community – school and residing community
  • PGCE students is conducting their SBL at Paterson as part of a rural experience. They will be interviewed as part of a case study on ICT aspects and matters pertaining to the PGCE. This could enhance and inform the PGCE curriculum.
  • Dr Ron Beyers and Mr Preston Geswindt is also starting to engage with a Khan Academy YouTube project where they will be using YouTube as a mathematics resource to the learners’ advantage.
  • Scientific Literacy project

Rietberg and Enon in Sundays River Valley

  • A scientific literacy research project will start at the above mentioned schools in Aug 2015.
  • Mr Preston Geswindt and Dr Rn Beyers is working in collaboration with Prof Paul Webb and Andre du Plessis here on the Herman Ohlthaver Trust Project. Mr Alan Appel of the trust has been invited to see what we are doing. Semester reports are provided to the trust.

Nelson Mandela University Faculty Research: Staff & Students

  • Assoc Prof AndrĂ© du Plessis is busy with a TAU Scholarship Research Project that involve the current status of ICT in the Faculty of Education – Staff and Student related. Ethical clearance has been applied for. This could enable faculty to obtain a picture of where we are ICT wise and what can be done to assist staff to enable the use of ICT to a greater extent to promote teaching and learning.

CERMESA international initiative

  • A few proposals related to the STEM theme has been submitted to CERMESA by staff members to attract possible international MEd students. This CERMESA driver is Prof Paul Webb.

International Research Collaboration

  • An international research project is busy to take shape as part of the IOSTE (International Organisation of Science and Technology Education) agenda to promote the use of ICT. The focus is on the status of ICT usage by science teachers, but this could also be extended to Mathematics and other subjects in the future. The collaboration is with the University of Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic, University of Siauliai in Lithuania and the University of Maribor in Slovenia. These three countries are in Eastern Europe and it appears that they have similar educational issues and interests as we in South Africa pertaining to ICT and Science.

Science, Mathematics and ICT Collaboration Group 2017

  • A workshop seminar to be hold in 2017 pertaining to collaboration practices and best practices of research collaboration from faculty members who have been involved in successful collaboration projects.



The above suggests that there is a great deal of activity in STEM. We would like to expand and include more staff to be part of our engagement and research. Staff can contact us and provide us with possible research proposals and we can then ascertain how we could assist them to realize their goals.