Centre for Science Education (CSE), Faculty of Science

Preamble

With the view of fulfilling long-standing aspirations of the Northern region, the Jaffna Campus of the then University of Sri Lanka was founded on October 6, 1974. At the inception, the Jaffna campus had two faculties, namely Science and Humanities. The Faculty of Science was set up in October 1974 at Vaddukoddai in the premises taken over from the Undergraduates’ Section of the Jaffna College. The Faculty shifted to the Thirunelvely premises in June 1978. The faculty comprises of seven departments now. The vision of the Faculty of Science is “To be a recognized centre of science learning in Sri Lanka”. The mission of the Faculty is “To produce competent graduates who excel in learning and research in basic sciences and who could contribute to the development of the nation”.

Being the regional academic entity for Science Education in the Northern province, the faculty of science has been actively engaged in science-related outreach activities since its inception. It has been realised that there is a need for a centre to be established in the faculty to coordinate and streamline activities for promoting science education, and eventually, it could be established as a Department of Science Education at the faculty.

In alignment with the vision of the faculty, the Centre for Science Education (CSE) is proposed to establish with the following vision and mission.

Vision : To be a centre of excellence in Science Education in the Northern Province.
Mission: To be a centre of excellence in Science Education in the Northern Province.

  • The centre is fully functional under the Faculty of Science utilizing the already established spaces.
  • The centre is self-sustainable utilizing grants secured by academics/departments/ faculty and through other means such as conducting training programmes and short courses.
  • The centre is open for academics from all the departments in the Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna, and for other national and international institutions for collaboration to utilize the facilities established.
  • The centre will offer consultancy by providing individuals and communities with innovative ideas, the required skills, and directions.
  • Promoting STEM education among school students.
  • Establishing a mobile laboratory to strengthen science learning in underprivileged areas.
  • Encouraging writing science books and newsletters.
  • Providing opportunities for students to have hands-on experience in practical sessions.
  • Providing training to the Technical Officers/Laboratory Attendants in schools.
  • Organising training programmes and short courses to enhance scientific knowledge of the science teachers.
  • Organising scientific events such as symposia, exhibitions, mock exams, and workshops.
  • Identifying issues in science education in the Northern province and trying to rectify them.
  • Engaging in collaborative academic and research programmes with national and international institutions.
  • Promoting scientific research culture in schools.
  • Carrying out joint outreach activities with the National Science Foundation and any other relevant institutions to promote STEM education in the country.
  • Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna (Chairperson)
  • Director  
  • All Heads of the Departments attached to the Faculty or his/her nominee
  • Head/Department of Education or his/her nominee
  • The presidents of the relevant approved student associations/ societies
  • The AR/SAR/DR of the Faculty of Science (Secretary).

Events

Centre for Science Education (CSE), Faculty of Science and Jaffna Science Association jointly organize a series of Preparation sessions to the Science and Technology stream students who sit GCE A/L examinations 2022 with assistance of the Provincial Department of Education, Northern Province. 

  1. Project duration: Two months
  2. Total Budget: LKR 637,000.00
  3. Proponent institutions:
    • Jaffna Science Association (JSA)
    • Centre for Science Education, Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna
  1. Funding Agency: The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo
  2. Proposed area:

The seminar will be conducted in  :

  •  Kilinochchi
  •  Mullaitivu
  •  Mannar
  •  Jaffna 
  •  Upcountry  (online)
  1.  Objectives:

To train the GCE (A/L) students in Science and Technology streams of the underprivileged areas of Northern Province of Sri Lanka for their GCE (A/L) examinations.

  1.   Target group:

Science and Technology stream students who sit GCE A/L examinations 2022.

The resource persons, those who are already engaged in A/L examinations as Chief supervisors/ examiners in all the above disciplines (senior academics of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Technology, University of Jaffna) will serve as resource persons through ‘Centre for Science Education – (CSE)’ of the University of Jaffna.   

Coordinators:

Dr. K. Sarveswaran, Lecturer in Computer Science and Chairperson/Section B-JSA – Kilinochchi

Dr. Dr.S.Mayuran, Lecturer in Mathematics and Secretary/Section A-JSA – Kilinochchi  

The above programme was conducted  in Mannar on 21.11.2022 from 9.15 am to 4 pm.  The following faculty academics participated in the Preparation sessions for Science stream students who sit GCE A/L examinations 2022.

The following faculty academics participated in the Preparation sessions for Science stream students who sit GCE A/L examinations 2022.

  • Prof. P. Ravirajan
  • Dr. T. Manoranjan
  • Dr. P. Iyngaran
  • Dr. (Mrs). S. Yohi
  • Mr. M. Khokulan
  • Dr. A. Manjceevan
  • Mr. Kugananthan

 

The above programme was conducted  in Kilinochchi on 17.10.2022 from 9 am to 4 pm. 

The following faculty academics participated in the Preparation sessions for Science stream students who sit GCE A/L examinations 2022.

  1. Prof. (Mrs.). M. Senthilnanthanan
  2. Prof. G. Sashikesh
  3. Prof. T. Eswaramohan
  4. Dr. T. Manoranjan
  5. Dr. R. Prashanthan
  6. Dr. T. Pathmathas
  7. Dr. (Mrs.). J. Prabagar

The above programme was conducted  in Mullaitivu on 17.10.2022 from 9 am to 4 pm. 

The following faculty academics participated in the Preparation sessions for Science stream students who sit GCE A/L examinations 2022.

  1. Prof. K. Vignarooban
  2. Prof. R. Srikaran
  3. Dr. P. Iynkaran
  4. Dr. (Mrs). S. Yohi
  5. Mr. M. Khokulan
  6. Dr. A. Manjceevan

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Centre for Science Education, Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna jointly conducted RSC’s Annual Popularization of Chemistry Program 2022 in Nuwara Eliya on the 12th of November 2022.

3 Key events took place.
1. Workshop for students
2. Workshop for teachers
3. Chemistry book donation

Resource persons for Workshops are as follows,

  • (Mrs). M. Senthilnanthanan
  • (Mrs). S. Yohi
  • (Mrs). J. Prabagar
  • G. Sashikesh
  • P. Iyngaran
  • G. Rajanayake
  • P. Ariyananda
  • N M S Sirimuthu
  • Susil Kathri
  • Samarakoon
    The event was a massive success with 200+ students.Schools that participated in the Nuwara Eliya Zone were

Tamil Medium

  • Cambridge College
  • Kotagala Tamil Maha Vidyalaya
  • Talawakelle Tamil Maha Vidyalaya
  • Holy Trinity College
  • Holbrook Tamil Maha Vidyalaya
  • Kot/ Punduloya Tamil Maha Vidyalaya

Sinhala Medium

  • Hatton Sripada college
  • Gamini Central College

Acknowledgment: Royal Society of Chemistry and Norwegian Embassy in Colombo under CBERC project for financial assistances.

A one-day stakeholders’ discussion in relation to revamp the Bachelor of Science Honours in Science and Education [BScHons(ScienceEdu)] was held on 31 October 2022 at the Library Auditorium, University of Jaffna. The Centre for Science Education (CSE) in collaboration with Department of Education, Faculty of Arts conducted the workshop with the financial assistance from the Norwegian Embassy.

About one hundred and thirty participants representing in the form of Educational Administrator (25), Teachers and Principals (66) and Academics (40) from Departments of Botany, Chemistry, Education, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics and Zoology. All the participants were actively contributed in the workshop. The meeting was inaugurated with the welcome speech by the Prof. P. Ravirajan (Dean/Science), followed by Prof. S.N. Surendran (Director/CSE) briefing the structure of the degree programme. The Dr. K. Sarveswaran (Department of Computer Science) and Mr. K. Piratheepan (Department of Education) discussed the feedback received from students and outside stakeholders respectively. Following this, Prof. S, Srisatkunarajah (Vice-Chancellor and Chairman/CEC) addressed the gathering on curriculum development and shared his views on offering this degree programme. Mr. A. Nithilavarnan detailed the courses that are to be offered under the subject Education. Two rounds of discussions were held. Participants/stakeholders worked in six groups in the first round to identify suitable course units.

After the lunch break participants were divided into following groups namely Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and education to discuss and report identified courses to be offered under each discipline. Prof. P. Sevvel and Ms. S. Nithiyagowry headed the Biology group, Prof (Mrs). M. Senthilnanthanan and Dr (Mrs). J. Prabagar the Chemistry group, Prof. K. Vignarooban the Physics group and Mr. S. Selvarajan the Mathematics group. The Education groups were headed by Dr. (Mrs). Rasanayagam (Head/Education), Mr. V. Viyajabaskar and Mr. K. Piratheepan of the Department of Education.

After the group discussion, group leaders presented the outcome their group discussion and the identified courses. The identified courses are given below;

The wrap-up session was chaired by the Dean/Science. It was decided to request the Ministry of Education for making amendment to the service minute of Sri Lanka teachers’ service (Gazette numbered 1885/38 and dated 23rd October 2014) to accept Bachelor Honours degree (SLQL 6) with a minimum of 25 credits in Education components or Postgraduate degree (SLQL 9 or above)/postgraduate diploma with a minimum of 25 credits in Education components for the appointment to Class 2 – Grade II category.

After the wrap-up session, the Dean, Faculty of Science proposed a vote of thanks and awarded certificates to the participants. The CSE take this opportunity to thank all those who actively participated and assisted us to successfully conduct this workshop. He further extends his gratitude to the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo for their funding under CBERC project. Dr. K. Sarveswaran, Dept. of Computer Science and Mr. K. Piratheepan, Dept. of Education coordinated this stakeholders’ workshop.

Innovative prototype model development competition 2022

Centre for Science Education , Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna, conducted Competition on Clean Energy Technologies based Innovative Prototype Development – 2022 under the Capacity Building and Establishment of a Research Consortium (CBERC) project to enrich innovative ideas and creativity among the school children from Northern Province, Sri Lanka. The invitation was sent out to all the schools from the Northern Provincial Department of Education on October 14, 2022. Competition was organized as individual and group event, and a total of 46 models were received from 77 students. Among those 24 models are from individual applicants, whereas 22 from the group applicants. The first phase of evaluation was held through zoom for three days (22-11-2022, 23-11-2022, and 24-11-2022) as 6 sessions by the panel consists three judges namely Dr. P. Iyngaran, Dr. T. Pathmathas, and Dr. (Mrs.) S. Yohi. Total of 12 models (6 from individual and 6 from group) were selected for finals.

 

                                     Highly commented models (received cash prize with certificates)

 

The final event was held on 28-11-2022 from 8.30 am onwards in the Physics mini auditorium, Faculty of Science, University of Jaffna, and all 12 models were displayed. A panel of three judges namely,  Prof. R. Srikaran, Prof. K. Vignarooban, and Dr. E. Y. Charles evaluated the models and best three from each set were selected. All the finalists were awarded with medals and certificates, whereas the best selected were awarded with cash prize. All participants were awarded with certificates. The Vice-Chancellor, University of Jaffna, Prof. Dhayalan Velauthapillai (CBERC and HRNCET Project Coordinator/Western Norway University of Applied Sciences), Prof. S. N. Surendran (Director/Centre for Science Education), Prof. P. Ravirajan (Dean/Faculty of Science and CBERC and HRNCET Project Coordinator), and Mr. S. Anurakavan (UBL Manager) were participated as the special guests in the event. Dr. (Ms.) S. Yohi, Department of Chemistry, coordinated the competition. The event was highly appreciated by the participants.