SAASTA, acquired the Johannesburg Observatory (JObs) in 2003 and is currently refurbishing this site to accommodate a multifaceted interactive Science Park with a specific focus on astronomy and engineering.
The first phase, which includes facilities such as science and computer laboratories, offices and space for indoor and outdoor exhibits, has been completed and the centre will soon open its doors to the public.
The following programmes for learners, teachers and members of the public are planned:
The Observatory tour exposes general public and learner visitors to different concepts of science and technology under the main themes of astronomy, astrophysics and optics through different exhibits and displays. It also aims at exposing younger children to activities such as identifying shapes, puppet shows and building blocks in order to stimulate their scientific nature.
Forensic Science Laboratories
Activities in these state of the art laboratories are specifically for school-going learners from grades 9 - 12 as well as their teachers. They present these learners with different scientific and curriculum–based methods of solving problems related to our real life experiences. In addition, curriculum-based experiments are also performed.
Science Teachers' Forum
Science Teachers' Forum is an open forum aimed at senior grade teachers of science, technology, biology, geography and mathematics. More info here ...
This holiday programme is specifically for underprivileged youth from townships in and around Johannesburg. TechnoYouth reaches out to these learners, introducing them to technology in a fun, friendly and informal manner. More info here ...
This laboratory provides Observatory visitors such as learners/students with opportunities of doing their school-related work with computers. It supports learners with training in the general use of computers. The laboratory also intends assisting teachers who are part of the Teachers Forum with computer literacy in enhancing their classroom activities.
This centre provides a platform for reading, studying, borrowing and returning of laboratory equipment and chemicals, as well as library materials to schools and/or public members. Information regarding different science careers is also accessible in the centre.
These tours are organised in collaboration with the Astronomy Society of South Africa (ASSA). Plans are underway to ensure that on monthly basis (and at ad hoc times depending on the event), night tours are organised in order to present the public with exciting astronomy activities. Included also, will be interactive talks, discussions, demonstrations and science shows to bring science awareness to the people.