Project information

Mobile Science Laboratory

To provide a Mobile Science Laboratory for use in High Schools in the historically deprived communities in 3 of the Provinces in South Africa, staffed by a qualified science teacher. The idea being to improve educational attainment in Science and Mathematics. April 2011 to December 2014.

This is an on-going project.

Charity information: Community H.E.A.R.T.

Community H.E.A.R.T. logo
  • Need


    Though many new schools have been built since the first democratic elections, there is an acute shortage of laboratories/equipment in High Schools in the historically deprived communities. Further, under apartheid, science and mathematics learning was discouraged in these communities meaning many of the educators as well as learners have no experience of using equipment and have been taught by rote. The current Mobile Laboratory has been in use since 1998 and is now too old to be cost effective.


    To provide a new Mobile Science Laboratory staffed by a qualified science teacher which will visit participating High Schools several times during each year. Providing hands on science and mathematics education through demonstrating experiments relevant to the school syllabus. This to be provided to educators and learners. Provide running costs for the period of 3 years to allow time for other sources of funding to be found.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide a fully equipped Mobile Science Laboratory.


    » To purchase and convert a vehicle to be used as a Mobile Laboratory in delivering enhanced science and mathematics education.

    What success will look like

    Success will be raising enough funds to purchase and equip a new vehicle for use in schools to enhance science and maths education.

    Aim 2

    To enhance biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics education in High Schools.


    » To visit 15 to 20 schools several times a year to provide educators and learners with hands-on experience in using laboratory equipment and lessons.

    What success will look like

    Success will be an increase in the numbers of pupils attaining science qualifications from the participating schools and entry to university.

  • Impact


    The impact in the medium to long term is raising the levels of educational attainment in science of students in the historically deprived communities and increase the success of students gaining access to university. Bridge the gap between school and university education to ensure learners from the disadvantaged communities can participate in the areas of science and engineering in the future.


    Success is dependant on support of educators in participating schools. Community H.E.A.R.T. worked with MEDUNSA ( Medical University of South Africa), now part of the University of Limpopo, to ensure the initial project was working. It quickly became apparent that educators were reluctant to use the facility because of lack of knwledge and experience, the project was then enhanced to provide training for the educators. This has empowered educators who are now enthusiastic about participation.


    Reporting progress will be through the Community H.E.A.R.T. biannual newsletter and the website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £145,080

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £38,500 Mobile Science Laboratory Purchase vehicle and coversion (South Africa)
      £45,900 Staffing Salary costs over 3 years (South Africa)
      £39,000 Aparatus Purchase aparatus over 3 years (South Africa)
      £8,340 Mobile Laboratory Running costs over 3 years (South Africa)
      £13,340 Admin/Office Office running costs (South Africa) and UK overheads (£5000)

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    individual £60 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Schools in the historically deprived communities Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Provinces of South Africa. The majority of the population is still living under the legacy of deprivation of the apartheid era. Under apartheid science education in these areas was discouraged and in some cases outlawed (eg students from these areas were not permitted to study engineering). Any science taught was by rote so many of the educators have little experience of science experiments.


    Beneficiaries will be the students and educators from the historically deprived communities in participating schools in South Africa. This will mean more than 7,000 students yearly will have access to enhanced science and mathematics education. South Africa as a whole will also benefit as the bridge is gapped to ensure students from the historically deprived communities successfully participate in science and engineering in the future. This will help change the cycle of poverty.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Community H.E.A.R.T. funded the first Mobile Science Laboratory in 1998 and were involved in the initial evolution of the project which led to the inclusion of educators in the project. We also have built up a working relationship with the University of Limpopo Trust, formerly the MEDUNSA Trust, which has been involved with the project since it's inception.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Community H.E.A.R.T. Board Of Trustees

    The Board are totally committed to this project and the enhancement of science mathematics education in the historically deprived communities.

    Department Of Science And Agriculture Of The University Of Limpopo

    The Project is run by the Department of Science and Agriculture of the University of Limpopo and staffed by a fully qualified science teacher.

Students conducting experiments during a visit

Students conducting experiments during a visit


Per pupil cost of annual delivery of this service.

The best thing is the excitement it generates among learners. Seeing them suddenly understand something they have only read in their textbooks.

Florence Seseng - Outreach Programme Co-ordinator