The Chemistry department has already made a solid start in January 2023 and we expect this year to be strong in both community and industrial engagement.

Dr G. Rubidge gave a presentation “Apnea-based observations and interactions with marine life in Algoa Bay and surrounds.” at the 23rd Marine Coastal Educators Network (MCEN) conference on 10 January.

Dr Rubidge describing how wind drives ocean currents in the vicinity of Algoa Bay


Peddie Maths and Science Support Program

Prof. Zenixole Tshentu, Dr Zikhona Tywabi-Ngeva and Govan Mbeki Maths Development Centre (GMMDC) at NMU represented by Prof Olivier and colleagues attended the Peddie CMC Maths & Science Awards Function at Ntyatyambo School in Crossroads on 27 January. Prof Tshentu was a guest speaker at this occasion and delivered a talk on “the importance of Maths and Science during the era of 4IR” wherein he highlighted few advances that have been made and how we face a danger of falling behind as SA if proper planning is not undertaken in order to be included in this imminent future. The Peddie Maths and Science Support Program is driven by Uchumo Sizwe and sponsored by Eskom Foundation and Outlook Foundation. The GMMDC Gamma equipment and resources were also used by teachers and learners in this programme. NMU also supports the program with tutors for the Winter and Spring Schools through the Deputy Dean’s efforts. The top achiever in Maths and Science in the Peddie CMC was Oyintanda Bonga who had distinctions for all 7 subjects [picture below with the programme director (Mr Ngwendu) and Prof Tshentu]. Dr Tywabi-Ngeva and Prof Olivier handed the awards to top performing schools and top achievers (learners) and that segment was presented by Prof. Zethu Matebeni from UFH.

Oyintanda Bonga receiving an award for the top achiever in Maths and Science in the Peddie CMC. Mr Bonga had distinctions for all 7 subjects. Mr Ngwendu(left) and Prof Tshentu(Right)


Science Clubs

A year plan has been drawn up for interactions with the Pearson High School Science Club in collaboration with Dr Marilyn Gibbs. This will involve four visits to the school where other science clubs will be invited. This activity will be repeated where possible for other science clubs.

On 2 February the Pearson Science Club hosted a stall to attract new members into the Science Club. The strategy was rather successful with over 90 persons the event advertised for 6 February.

On 6 Feb the first quarterly gathering was held at Pearson High School from 17:00-19:00 along with the Alexander Road High Science Club. A variety of physics and chemistry experiments were performed under the guidance of Dr Rubidge and Sasha-Lee Dorfling. The event was concluded by making ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

Recipe for 10-12 servings: 1.75 cups fresh cold cream, 1.25 cups full cream cold milk, 1/8th teaspoon salt, 0.75 cups icing sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon caramel essence. Stir all ingredients together to dissolve and place in a metal pot of ~ 8-10 litre capacity, add increments of liquid nitrogen while stirring until the mixture thickens and solidifies, serve into cones with vermicelli or other sprinkles. Liquid nitrogen requirement is approximately 1 litre if the cream, milk and pot are pre-cooled.

Under the guidance of Dr Rubidge a scholar poured liquid onto a balloon to show the effect of temperature on a contained pocket of air


Other events where activities will be undertaken include:

  1. Ancient History talk by Peter Loyson
  2. STEMI in Action(polymer science and analytical chemistry),
  3. Scifest,
  4. Teacher training with the Department of Education(DOE),
  5. National Science Week,
  6. Eskom Expo,
  7. Collaborative community engagements with SAEON at Ocean Sciences Campus where a new science centre is being constructed.



  1. 14 March 2023 Starting a cosmetics business  by InnoVenton
  2. 15 - 16 March 2023 Formulating creams and lotions by InnoVenton

Since the lock down the Chemistry Department has been active in diverse range of engagements. These include dedicated and specific talks on topics where the Department has considerable expertise and experience, research topics where new topics are explored, community contributions in terms of showing off the delights of pure and applied science; workshops, assistance and mentoring with school, personal and industrial projects, career guidance through visits to departmental facilities and many more.  Thus far the Department has a number of planned activities due to occur throughout the year and particularly around the National Science Week in July and August. We anticipate a productive and rewarding year ahead.