Children with an interest in science may have higher confidence levels than those who don't. This is because knowing how the world works the way it does, gives kids a sense of placement and understanding. Plus, science fields are always expanding, looking for a fresh young perspective. Get your child sparked up about science by taking them to holiday clubs and workshops. Otherwise, make a day of it and take the kids to one of Joburg's top museums. Once you have thoroughly explored the city's science centres, you can tackle a couple of DIY experiments at home.
Museums & Science Centres
Sci Bono Discovery Centre
The Sci Bono Discovery Centre is a dedicated science centre which caters to young minds. The centre supports maths, science and technology education. Sci Bono features over 350 interactive maths, science and technology exhibits, making it the largest and most visited science centre in South Africa. They host regular holiday programmes, as well as large scale exhibitions. Kids are invited to interact and play with the permanent exhibits at the centre. So, not only are they having fun, but learning at the very same time!
Click here to see what's currently being exhibited at the Sci Bono Discovery Centre.
Details: Corner of Miriam Makeba and Helen Joseph Streets, Newtown, Johannesburg | 011 639 8400 | [email protected]
WITS Life Sciences Museum
The WITS Life Sciences Musuem is the only natural history museum located in Johannesburg. If your child has a keen interest in biology, archaeology or even just creepy, crawly things, this museum is definitely worth a visit. The main display area features skeletons, models and preserved specimens, as well as tanks with live fish and other animals. If you step just outside the museum, you can also meet WITS' resident iguana!
The museum is only open from 08:30 to 16:00 on weekdays, so take a day off during the school holidays to explore the natural world with the kids.
Details: 33 Station St, Braamfontein, University of the Witwatersrand, East Campus | 011 717 6467
Adler Museum of Medicine
The Adler Museum of Medicine is located at the WITS Medical campus in Parktown. The museum contains interesting and invaluable collections depicting the history of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy through the ages. However, what makes this medical science centre so special is the reconstructions of an African herb shop, a patient consulting a sangoma (traditional healer), a 20th century Johannesburg pharmacy, a doctor's consulting room, a dental surgery, an operating theatre and an optometry display of the same period.
If your child has a keen interest in medical science, this is the ideal place to take them.
Details: University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg | 011 717 2081 | [email protected]
Is your little one an astronaut in the making? Take them to the WITS Planetarium. Completed in October 1960, the WITS Planetarium was the first full-sized planetarium in Africa and the second in the Southern Hemisphere. Children aged 5 - 18 years old can learn about all the wonders space has to offer here. Adults are welcome, too, so tag along for a great learning experience.
Click here to see upcoming shows at the Planetarium.
Details: University of the Witwatersrand, Yale road, East Campus, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | 011 717 1390 | [email protected]
Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is a must-see for kids interested in paleontology, archaeology and natural history. Situated just 45 minutes outside of Joburg, this world class science centre offers kids and adults guided tours through the Maropeng Visitors Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves. So, make the most of your trip and learn all about humankind's fascinating origins.
Details: R400, Mogale, 1911, Krugersdorp | +27 (0)14 577 9000 | [email protected]
Live Kaizen - STEM Holiday Clubs
Live Kaizen is a kids science club, dedicated to building a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in children between five to 10 years of age. They believe that by nurturing your child's curiosity, they can develop the skills to be able to master complex scientific principles. Their holiday clubs usually run for five to 10 days, covering a range of topics. Kids are encouraged to learn through interactive play, fun experiments and song.
Details: Cnr. Marlborough and Richmond Ave., Craighall Park, Johannesburg | 011 447 3973 | [email protected]
Little Scientists offer STEM orientated after school extramural activities for pre-primary and primary school aged children. They provide a happy learning environment for kids to play and experiment in. In addition, young scientists learn about noteworthy physicists, engineers and inventors to help inspire them and encourage a passion for the field. Little Scientists also offer Party Labs - science themed birthday parties! Featuring wacky experiments, science props and costumes, the Party Lab is the perfect way to celebrate your little Einstein's next birthday.
Details: 96 Olive Crest Estate, Northriding, Johannesburg | 072 980 5886 | [email protected]
Little Professors are based in Joburg and Cape Town. This kids science club combines STEM subjects with art, to give your child an all round learning experience. By allowing kids to express their inner creativity and curiosity, Little Professors put the fun back into science. Children as young as two years old are welcome to join the Little Discovery classes. These classes stimulate sensory play and fine motor skills, while teaching little ones about the world, including the introduction to numbers, shapes, animals, plants and bug life.
Details: Randburg, Johannesburg | +27 79 878 5903 | [email protected]
Nutty Scientists have been teaching kids all about the sciences since 1996. Their focus on STEAM subjects, as well as nurturing self-esteem in young minds is what sets them apart from the rest. They offer everything from after school extra murals, to holiday camps and special events. Give your child the confidence boost they need by enrolling them in one of the Nutty Scientists' fun classes.
Details: 38 Hans Crescent, Bryanston, Johannesburg | 083 675 8076 | [email protected]
Prefer to do things your own way? No problem! Get your hands on the Little Professors STEAM science kits from Takealot. These nifty boxes include fun DIY experiments and activities to keep you and the kids busy for hours. If you want something a little more advanced, check out Toys R Us' range of science and robotic kits. Our top choice is the 4M Salt Water Powered Robot. Simply assemble the robot, add salty water to the power compartment and off it goes! Also, check out our helpful article on at home science experiments to do with the kids.