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November 2013 - Issue 3 - Science Edition

THE MASTER

Catching up with the Science Department

EDITION

Franchisees • Managers • Tutors

Teaching a love of science

Grand Prize WINNER 2010: Margie’s holiday

Franchise Update

How are centres finding our science programme?


Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. - Carl Sagan

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong. - Albert Einstein

The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance – the idea that anything is possible. - Ray Bradbury

Science never solves a problem without creating ten more. - George Bernard Shaw

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' - Isaac Asimov

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage. - Mark Russell

Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true. - Niels Bohr

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher von Braun

There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere. - Isaac Asimov


CONTENTS MEET department MEET and andGREET GREETthe . . .SCIENCE The SCIENCE Department 14

Heidi Schoute-Vanneck

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Bruce McIntosch

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Petra Snijman

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Adrianne Barker

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MASTER SCIENCE FRANCHISES Let’s see how these centres have been doing.

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Alberton

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Garsfontein

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Arcadia

FEATURES 04

An editorial by Adrie

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Where Master Science started , and a look at this issue.

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Growth in Africa Martin takes a look at what we can expect.

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Marketing - a simple science

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A look at some simple and effective marketing principles.

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Around the net in 60 seconds Social media is big, but how big is it really? Tamsin has the scoop.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER 2010 12

Franchisee of the Year 2010: Margie takes a holiday!

ARTICLES 09

Teaching a love for Science

18

Letters from appreciative clients

22

Master Maths represented in Hong Kong

23

What our tutors have to say

Editor: Design & Layout:

Tamsin Haley Trish Van Driessche

Cover Design Marie Curie is famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. The first element she discovered she named polonium, after her home country Poland. She is the most recognised female scientist, and is the only woman to hold a Nobel Prize in 2 fields. Her family holds the most Nobel Prizes to date, with a total of 5.

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Welcome to the Master Science Issue by Adrie Schoeman

Crystall Ball, Crystal Ball...What does the future have in store? That was the question in February 2011. After more than five years of intense development, our new baby, Master Science, was launched. We realised we had to be patient to see how our clients would embrace our new product. Science tutors in our new Master Science centres put their shoulders to the wheel, and started to work through the massive system. We wanted to be well prepared to assist our new science learners. This in itself proved more challenging than expected, and “time”, a busy centre’s number one enemy, mocked us constantly. Today, with close to 102 Master Science centres in operation, we are well on our way to providing many learners with a superb product and service. In the past 30 odd years our centres have had to advise learners on the pros and cons of maths HG versus SG, and then mathematics versus mathematical literacy. We have become acutely aware of the fact that science is not a subject of choice amongst South African learners. The new challenge is advising learners and their parents that science opens up many doors for their future. In our line of business, we are confronted daily by learners who really despise mathematics and science. For some the feelings of anxiety which these two subjects induce, is almost phobic. This plays a huge role in their choice of subjects, or in their ability to improve their results. Every parent, with a child currently in grade 9, has been confronted with the reality that the guidance they give their child on their subject choices for next year, can have a potentially detrimental effect on their future career choices. We have a huge responsibility – a duty – to convince our clients at every possible opportunity, of the importance of maths and science as subjects – our learners’ futures depend on that! Consider the following statistics that appeared in an article in the City Press on 16 June: Professionals such as accountants, lawyers, medical doctors, and engineers enjoy the lowest unemployment rates, at 0.4%. Holders of degrees including BComm (commerce), BSc (science), and BCompt (accounting science) also have a very low unemployment rate, at 3.1%.

If these statistics tell us anything, it is that there are too few people in the professions which demand mathematics and science as prerequisites. If our learners study these subjects, and do well in them, they have the opportunity to study further and perhaps practise one of these sought after professions one day. In this feature, three of our top Master Science centres will share their experiences with us. Our science development team is the main reason why our science programme exists. Without them, we would not have the product that we have today. We take a time out and get to know each of them a bit better. Why do learners shy away from choosing physical science as a subject, and why don’t they enjoy it? We need to start thinking differently about how a love for science can be instilled through the right approach to teaching. Enjoy this article which starts the discussion on how this can be changed. Of course, we will all turn green with envy when we read about our Edenvale Franchisee, Margie Thompson’s, overseas holiday. She certainly deserved this special trip as she won the Franchisee of the Year Award in 2010. May it be an inspiration to all Franchisees. The next Franchisee of the Year Awards (which includes Master Science centres this time) is just around the corner… 2013 has come to an end, and with the New Year not too far away, I leave you with these words:

If you intend to live on this planet, you should know how it works." - Author unknown

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by Martin Welgens

in

Africa

It has been projected that, by 2050, the world’s population will have increased to 9,6 billion with 2,5 billion of those people living in Africa (currently 1,1 billion). With such a massive increase in the consumer base and with Africa’s abundant natural resources, it is no wonder that everyone wants a piece of the African pie. Add our demographics to this (we have an extremely young population) and it seems that the world could be our oyster. SAB is actively moving into Africa, but they are concerned about the fact that the price of beer is around 5 times higher than it should be to penetrate this market effectively. They are now researching alternative production methods to decrease the cost of beer, (I hope they work on Whiskey next!). Samsung has just released a new freezer which is designed to keep food frozen for longer when there is no power. This product was developed specifically for Africa. Master Maths, and soon Master Science, is developing a product for the Cambridge International system, upon which many African countries have based their curricula. These are but a few examples which show how seriously the business world is considering Africa. Unfortunately, there are some very real problems which African nations need to overcome, in order to be successful: insufficient infrastructure, the lowest average life expectancy in the world, HIV, generally low levels of education and high levels of unemployment. These are all problems which can be overcome, provided that we have the right leaders, who have a strong vision of where Africa could be in 2050. From our side I have identified two problems we can help with, namely education and unemployment, which go hand in hand. Unemployment in South Africa The Department of Labour recently released their latest Annual Labour Market Bulletin, in which they discuss the changes to labour over the last financial year (May 2012 to April 2013). In a nut shell, 25,2% of people in South Africa are unemployed and 41,3% of all people are employed. That leaves 33,5% of people who are economically inactive (stay at home parents) or working in the informal sector. 6,1% of the unemployed have completed tertiary studies (up from 5,6% in 2010), so education does not necessarily guarantee employment. In all cases the figures are for people aged 15 to 64. There is no doubt that sustainable increases in employment are tied very closely to the growth of the economy as a whole, and unfortunately our economy is not growing fast enough at present (GDP is expected to grow between 2,0% and 2,7% this year). But, even with these low growth rates, our economy has managed to create 649 000 jobs over the last two years. In the same time our economically active population (amount of people aged 15 to 64) increased by 851 000, so 202 000 people were added to the ranks of unemployed individuals. Every economist will tell you that the official employment figures are misleading because South Africa has a very large informal sector, but the gap between population growth and job growth is alarming, since this increases the number of unemployed individuals. The sad truth is that many unemployed people are unskilled and uneducated which greatly limits their employment opportunities. Education in South Africa In this area, we are already assisting greatly by helping our learners to make the most of their school studies, thereby enabling them to study further and enter the job market as highly skilled individuals. Unfortunately we can not help everyone. While our fees are very competitive, they will never be at such a level where universal access can be provided. We have an opportunity to do more with our bursary programme, which has unfortunately not worked as well as we had hoped. We will be taking a look at how the programme is structured, in consultation with Franchisees, and will then modify it as needed. We know that you are just as passionate about making a difference as we are, and thank you for your efforts this year. It is truly rewarding to be involved in a business which adds value to our clients’ lives. All the best for your preparations for 2014, and then I hope that you have a relaxing, well deserved vacation!

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Centre Update

Meet the team

ALBERTON Carol Marneweck has owned Master Maths Alberton since 1994, and she has had Master Science at the centre since 2012.

Carol Marneweck (Owner)

The staff at the centre always aim to provide a “calm and productive atmosphere for our learners to thrive in”. This helps the learners to feel comfortable and confident in their interactions with the team, as well as with the programme. Alberton’s manager, Devon Winterbottom, loves to “work with the team and find ways to improve what we do”, and she loves the fact that the team feels like a family.

Devon Winterbottom

The experience with Master Science has been an exciting one for the Alberton centre. They enjoy offering physical science tuition, as they have found that it is “very much in demand”, and that their clients are relieved when they find out that the subject is offered at the centre. The team has also found that they themselves have “learned more about physics and chemistry, as the programme offers logical and in-depth explanations”. Natalie De Gouveia

Alberton has been in a situation where they have had a group of learners who relied on the Master Science programme to get them through the majority of their curriculum, as the schools were struggling to get through it. Through the use of our system, the learners coped very well with their exams, and achieved marks above 70% on average. These learners have said that “Master Science has helped them to fully understand the subject”. As with everything, there have been challenges with Master Science. Alberton encountered several and rose to meet them every time. One of these challenges was: “getting a comfortable understanding of the subject, so that we are able to explain it to our learners in a clear way”. They have also found that in both subjects, the learners sometimes “need a bit more explanation to be able to grasp a concept”. Conducting revision has also been an interesting challenge, as the tutors have needed to find resources to supplement or add to the programme to provide the students with exposure to different types of questions. The tutors have also found that physical science takes more time than maths, to explain the work to the learners.

Vuyo Pangeni

The staff at the Alberton centre enjoy the little moments with their learners, those moments when learners “start believing in their potential and change their attitude towards maths and physical science!”

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Centre Update

Meet the team

GARSFONTEIN The Garsfontein Master Maths centre was opened in 1987 by Joan Jones. Master Science was a natural extension for the centre once it was released.

Joan Jones (Owner)

Armand Kruger

Joan’s centres run efficiently on her motto, “Do not procrastinate – do it now!” This has helped the team to develop the centre to what it has become today. It also helps them to remain “open to new ideas that are practical for the centre”, and they are not afraid to “get rid of old ideas that don’t work”.

Fanuel Hlatshwayo

In the end, the Garsfontein centre is all about providing learners with the best service possible, so that they are able to better their marks, and their future career opportunities. Joan loves having the opportunity to help children to fulfil their maximum potential. The golden moment that comes with the job of tutoring learners is “seeing the light in children’s eyes when they finally understand a concept that they have been struggling with”. The learners definitely bring a certain amount of character to the centres. Joan and her team have introduced a reward system for their learners if they do well in a test at school. The deserving learner is given a small chocolate for their accomplishments. This caused much excitement amongst some of the learners. One of the junior learners found out that they receive rewards and asked excitedly “I got 90% for my geography test, can I bring it?”

Elzane Roets

Tshenolo Tshenkeng

The Garsfontein centre gladly took Master Science on as a challenge as “teaching extra physical science is a great opportunity, since there isn’t a lot of extra help for this subject”. Although it has been a great opportunity, it has not come without its problems. Joan struggles to find tutors that are competent in science, and she has noticed that the ones who are competent are often engineering or medical students, who don’t have the time to tutor. Despite this, it is “rewarding to see grade 12 learners walk in at Master Science and improve their results in a few months”.

Julien Nunes Goncalves

Jason Briggs

Something Joan has found that helps to provide the best service possible to her learners is to divide maths and science totally by having the centre split into different rooms. She believes that it helps the logistics of the centre, and that the learners can focus on the subject they are busy with at that time.

Luzelle van Niekerk

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Centre Update

Meet the team

ARCADIA Master Science Arcadia was the first of its kind to open. Celeste Seeger says they have the “Numero Uno award” to prove it! After having Master Maths since 2000, January 2012 was when they launched their new service.

Celeste Seeger (Owner)

Celeste has been with Master Maths for many years. She can still remember “the nasty tapes that had to be rolled with a pencil when they became stuck in the tape recorders”, “the boxes full of laminated tests which had to be filed away after each lesson” and the horror of “kids dropping trays of slides which had to be sorted afterwards”. This just goes to show how far we have come with our computer based system, and now Master Science.

Aliezia Coetzer

Celeste “loves being able to work with the learners individually and getting to know them”. She also ensures that her learners have fun at the centre. The staff occasionally buys everyone ice cream when it is really hot, the learners often redo “How To’s” just to get 100% for the sticker reward, and the tutors do not need any encouragement to get dressed up in slippers and pyjamas on Casual Day!

Carina Engelbrecht

The Arcadia centre functions well because they work as a team and Celeste is “always open to new suggestions and improvements”. They are always friendly to their learners, “and have just enough discipline to keep them working”. Celeste has praised her centre team, saying that they “are extremely dedicated and patient”. She also has good ideas on what makes a successful Franchisee. Especially that they should be “ a Jack of all trades and also master of all.” Other skills that come in handy are Marketing and PR, Human Resources, counsellor, computer repairman, tea girl and a great tutor! Dominique Seeger

Celeste has been lucky enough to receive an SMS which said: “Hello Celeste. Wonder if you recall Jessica B. Thought you might like to know she is graduating as a medical doctor from UCT at the end of the year. You had a role to play in her success. Thank you.” Master Science has been a new journey for the Arcadia centre. The team has said that “the learners love listening to the modules and finally understanding what their teacher has been telling them”. They love seeing learners understand the work and gaining confidence as they progress. Celeste finds that she struggles to find Science tutors. Her centre “has 50% Afrikaans students and 50% English”, so finding science tutors who are bilingual, has been a challenge.

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TEACHING A LOVE FOR SCIENCE Science can be seen as the most difficult subject to get learners excited about. With less than 180 000 learners writing the physical science exam in 2012, finding out how to motivate learners to get involved in the sciences is extremely important. Why are learners not choosing physical science as a subject from Grade 10? It’s often seen as too hard or too boring. Teachers rely too heavily on textbooks which, without context, make the content seem heavy to the learners. Learners do not enjoy writing the reports that accompany science projects. If these are the only reasons children are not taking science, there have to be ways around it. Surely, many of these reasons are feeding each other. There are some great ways to teach children about the sciences. Children learn by doing, so parents can start by teaching children about science at home in a few easy ways: Sports can be used to teach children about physics. Playground equipment can also be used to teach children about different scientific principles. Get children cooking. The kitchen is a great place for children to learn about chemistry, and especially about how to work safely in the kitchen. Laboratory rules are exactly the same! What can be done in the classroom or at a Master Science centre? Experiments are a great way for learners to learn about their environment. These can be done in the classroom, or motivated to be done at home. Science needs to be relevant to the learner. If they cannot understand how the principles apply to their everyday lives, learners will become demotivated with the subject. The classroom needs to become a more innovative place. With technology improving at the rate that it is, we can expect to see improvements in the way that science is taught. All that being said, Master Science is in a strong position as it has already embraced technology to make the lessons interesting and interactive. The best testament to Master Science is all the learners in our centres who benefit from this wonderful system.

Resources: 1. ‘The Art of teaching them to love science” by Chloe Hamilton, 2013. 2. “Children’s perception of school science” by C. Murphy and J. Beggs, 2003. 3. “How to help your kids love science” by Sara Jones, 2008.

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Marketing - a simple science Marketing can sometimes appear to be a complex science. Clever television ads make us think that advertising has to be brilliant or hilarious in order to be effective. But if we simplify the process, marketing essentially comes by Marius Myburg down to: “Here I am. I’m the best. Buy me”. However, this straightforward way of looking at things does become more complex. People might not know that you are the best, or your marketing message could be lost in the advertising clutter we see in everyday life. Luckily for us, if used correctly, the Master Maths and Master Science systems are the best. Good results lead to our most important form of promotion: positive word of mouth. Why is it so effective? Because you and I are far more likely to believe our friends and family than an advertised message. There is no need for fancy ads or clever tricks. So let’s take a look at the “Here I am” part. Moms and dads may have heard about your service from their friends, and they also may have heard that we are the best. Due to the pressures of their everyday life, however, they might be waiting until next month to call a centre or send that email. This is where the “Here I am” comes into play. We need to remind our potential clients as often as possible that we are the best, and how easy it is to find us. In order to do this, we at Head Office follow five simple principles to advertise your services nationally. These same principles will remain relevant irrespective of what the size of the geographical area where you are marketing. Here is a brief description of these principles, examples of how Head Office employs them, and a few ideas which you could consider. 1. Be proactive: Canadian ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzy once remarked that you “miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take”. The same can be said for marketing. If you don’t try something you will never know if it works. Thinking that something does not work, and actually testing it, are two different things. Sometimes you end up being surprised by the results. The first step in trying something new is to determine the options available, and then to pick the ones that make the most sense. After that it is simply a matter of elimination. Over the years Head Office has tried many different methods to promote your service. We have kept the successful ones and filed away the ineffective ones. The important thing is that we have, and will keep on trying new avenues. However, we have a limited budget and we are unable to utilize all the marketing options out there. That is why you need to help us use those we can’t exploit ourselves. Your first step is to find out what options are available in your area. Put yourself in the mind of a parent and think about when they would most likely contact your centre. Then call Head Office to discuss your ideas. Remember, we communicate with centre owners and managers on a daily basis and can give you advice about other possible options. Then most importantly, do the actual marketing. Centres sometimes become discouraged after they reach the first hurdle. We are here to help you execute your ideas, but you need to follow through when the time comes. Effective marketing requires effort and persistence. 2. Have a Plan A plan, no matter how simple, is very important. The following is a simplified layout of our marketing plan at Head Office, and can be applied at any centre. These points are very similar to the five principles listed in this article. I. Create a marketing strategy with long- and short-term goals. A strategy could be something as simple as: ‘I would like to enrol younger learners in order to have a client base that will attend my centre for longer time period.’

II. Do research about what marketing opportunities there are in your area, and which ones will suit your strategy. List all possibilities and keep a record for future use and testing.

III. Set out a marketing budget for each term. Make sure that you utilise all the funds in the marketing budget. IV. Decide which forms of marketing you will apply to achieve your strategic goals. It can be school newspapers, signage, more pamphlets etc. V. Measure the results and repeat the ones that worked. Try new options with your remaining budget.

3. Measure your results Over a century ago, the department store magnate John Wanamaker observed, “I know half my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.” What Mr Wanamaker did not know is that it is quite possible to determine what is effective, it just requires some effort. Modern technology has also made it easier for us to track the effectiveness of our marketing. Here are two examples of how we track and improve our marketing efforts: Online conversion tracking: a conversion, in our case, is when a person visits our website and browses any centre page, or the Contact Us page. If that person clicked on one of our online ads in order to get to the website, we can determine what they typed into the Google search bar (or on which other website they were during the time). We pay for our ad to display when people type specific phrases into Google search, such as “extra maths”. We then track which phrases are converted more often, and then delete the phrases that are less effective. This is basically the ‘be pro-active’ principle, just on a much more detailed scale. We try different things and keep the ones that are effective.

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Google analytics: this software records all the incoming data to our websites. It then produces data and graphs relaying which webpages people visited over a specific time period. It also does a thousand other things. If we get higher than average traffic numbers into the website for a certain period, we know that our marketing has had some effect.

Overview Unique Visitors

vs.

Hourly

Select a metric

Jan 1, 2013 - Mar 30, 2013:

Unique Visitors

Jan 1, 2012 - Mar 30, 2012:

Unique Visitors

Jan 15

Jan 29

Feb 12

Feb 26

Day Week

Month

Mar 12

An example of a Google analytics graph.

So how can you determine which marketing works the best for you? Many centres have already done this, but a good place to start would be to keep a record of the enquiries you receive via your phone and email. A simple ‘tick-box’ system should be sufficient. It is very important that enquiries are written down and not just ‘remembered’. It has to be done diligently, and no enquiries missed in order to be effective. You can then use the results to make a more informed decision of where you will spend your marketing budget next time. If you need a template for a tick-list we will be more than happy to provide you with one. 4. Constantly improve the marketing options that are effective: Once you have found something that works, you should use it to its fullest potential. It is only a matter of time before your competitors also realise what the most effective methods are. The key is to stay a few paces ahead of them all the time. We have found that online marketing is quite effective for us. One of the ways we improve our website is through ‘heat-map tracking’. This sounds very fancy, but this is software that simply records where people click on a webpage. Since ‘click-behaviour’ follows what people are interested in (people subconsciously click when they are reading something), we can improve the website based on the most popular choices. We are constantly making improvements to make sure that potential clients get to the centre pages, and to help them find what they are looking for.

The above screenshot is from our heat tracking software. The areas that are whiter are clicked on more often. As you can see the map and sliding pictures receive a lot of attention. Accordingly, we don’t have to worry if these are taking up too much space, and we can focus on utilizing them fully. We can also look at improving the rest of the page, as it does not get the same amount of attention.

So what can you do? Here are some ideas:

Set methods and systems in place to constantly improve your customer service. Excellent customer service will always be a sustainable competitive advantage.

How about moving your centre to a better and more professional location. If you have proper signage and a professional looking centre, you will have one of the most powerful permanent ads you could ever place. If you are in a good location, part of your rent can certainly come out of your marketing budget.

Call us to discuss your options and how you can capitalise on the marketing that has proved to be successful. We want to work with you to ensure the success of your business.

5. Tell the truth We are sometimes shocked to see outrageous claims from our competitors, such as “20% improvement guaranteed”. For a desperate parent this must sound like the answer to all of their problems. Even though we see similar and better improvements in our centres, we know that learners are unique and we can never make all-encompassing promises like this. Only once you have assessed the learner or if you have worked with them for a while, will you know what is possible in terms of improvement. Those unscrupulous companies making outrageous claims might receive much interest at first, but this practise is not sustainable because people will soon realize that they have been swindled. That is why Master Maths has been around for 36 years and is still going strong. Our service is based on a sound and sustainable business principle: Always try to do what is best for our client, even if we have to turn them away because they can’t do the recommended number of hours, to see an improvement. Of all five principles mentioned, this is the easiest one to apply. This is because the best thing about telling the truth, is that you never have to remember what you said.

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Margie’s logbook . . .

Franchisee of the Year 2010: Grand Prize Winner

Margie from Edenvale used her prize money to take a holiday .

We decided to exchange the beautiful warm beaches of Mauritius for something a bit different. Who knows if it is just an age thing, the will to complete my bucket list or just pure excitement, but something motivated us to opt for the snow-capped mountains, vast forests, awe inspiring glaciers, and the abundant sea life that Alaska has to offer. Dave and I set off via Germany to Vancouver, Canada to take a seven day cruise to the great beyond. I had put this trip on hold a couple of times because I couldn’t get my head around the 20 hour flight, (plus stopover!) that it would take to get there. Watching the flight path of the plane over Iceland and Greenland on the overhead TV screen makes you realise that you are indeed far from home! We spent a couple of days on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo. We were flanked by the snow-capped mountains on one side and the Nanoose Bay, with frolicking sea lions, on the other. The rest of the landscape consisted of endless forests and waterfalls. I have never seen such tall, huge trees! I kept hoping that we would come across a brown bear in the wild, but sadly, it was not to be. This was a wonderful way to spend time acclimatising to our new environment and preparing for our ultimate adventure. On the cruise ship with the Vancouver BC skyline behind us, there was loads of excitement for the journey ahead, especially with the live band sending us off with the all too familiar “Waka Waka”. That’s the moment when you realise how connected the world has become. The boat’s slogan was “Measure the experience by how far it takes you from the ordinary”. We certainly found this to be quite apt, as we were a million miles from the ordinary, taking in sights and sounds that were unforgettable and will well and truly be entrenched in our hearts and minds forever. The boat offered us unadulterated luxury and pampering, and far too much fine dining! The excitement of going through the Inside Passage was totally exhilarating. We were surrounded by majestic scenery and were lucky to see two fin whales, three killer whales, a humpback whale, and approximately 100 dolphins. All in one day and at the beginning of our trip! We were able to sit out on our balcony, watching the sea life until the sun set at 11pm. Alaska is the land of the midnight sun and each night presented a sunset more glorious than the night before. Our first stop was Icy Straights Point, just south of Glacier Bay. Our boat was tendered 30 people at a time, and we had time to spend an afternoon and evening with the local Tlingit people. Apparently there are more grizzly bears on the island than people, but we didn’t catch a glimpse of one. The locals relocated to the island after their home on the mainland was destroyed in 1958 by what they called “the mountain falling into the sea”. This caused a massive tsunami which was approximately 600m in height. Alaska has 1000 seismic activities each year, but because it is so vast and unpopulated one seldom gets to hear about them. Our second stop was the Hubbard Glacier. WOW! We awoke to what would become a spectacular experience. We had entered Yukutat Bay during the night and the boat was surrounded by huge chunks of moving ice that had broken away from the glacier. The sun was shining, the wind was icy, the sea was like glass and the sounds were unforgettable. The only sound to break through the icy calm were the chunks of ice sizzling like dry ice or like a can of coke that had just been snapped open. Ahead of us was this mass of pressed ice. At 350m high, it was jagged and in parts sparkling turquoise in the sun with an open calving face of over 9,6km. We were fortunate to experience about 10 calvings. This is when the ice becomes too heavy and a mass breaks loose at the bottom and begins a slow motion avalanche into the sea. The sound of white thunder then echoed through the surrounding mountains. Dog sledding is the national sport in Alaska. In Juneau (capital of Alaska) we took a helicopter ride high up into the mountains onto the Mendenhall Glacier to visit a dog sledding training camp. It was rather stressful, more so than the stress felt before a maths exam, being weighed before climbing into the helicopter. The landscape is just so spectacular, so vast and untouched with crevices and aqua pools everywhere. It was impossible to try and determine distances. We spent the morning with a musher (dog trainer) and enjoyed the sledding with 11 exuberant huskies. It was fun prancing around in glacier boots and experiencing the unforgettable landscape that is so beyond the control of man. Our last stop was Ketchikan, which means “thundering wings of an eagle”. At any given moment you could spot at least three Bald Headed Eagles. We were told to look for the “golf ball” at the top of the trees if we wanted to spot them. Worked marvellously! We were once again surrounded by vast wilderness and impassable mountains. The little fishing town has lots of history from the time of the gold rush to their totem poles. We took a traditional float plane and flew over the misty fjords. We flew for hours over endless forests and glacier lakes. We landed on one of the lakes and thats where my dream realised itself: a real, live wild grizzly appeared! I no longer had to take photographs of every stuffed grizzly that we passed. When the plane arrived back to the dock, we found a map of the world. Looking at it, you can see that Alaska is possibly the furthermost point from South Africa that we could have ventured to, but gosh it was the most amazing trip. Dave and I had been blessed to go on this trip and are grateful to have been in a position to win Franchisee of the Year, using the opportunity to make such wonderful, lasting memories. With the amount of salmon we consumed during this trip, our “brain power” can only have increased, which will hopefully be put to good use at Master Maths for the rest of the year. I’ll end by saying that being rewarded with a life changing experience like this is encouragement enough to work hard!

12


350m high Face of Hubbard Glacier

Standing on Mendenhall Glacier

Small iceberg - the size of a HOUSE!

Hubbard Glacier Approaching the Hubbard Glacier Yakutat Bay Glacier Bay Mendenhall Glacier Icy Staights points Janeau

Ketchikan Start of inside passage Glacier Lake at Misty Fjord - where I saw my grizzly.

Gone dog sledding! Huskies pulling our sled.

Misty Fjords National Park

Started in

Vancouver He almost came home with me!

Friendly when stuffed!

13


MEET and GREET . . . The SCIENCE DEPARTMENT Periodic Table

Chemistry

Sou

nd

Heidi Schoute-Vanneck Heidi is known by many names: Doc, Iron Maiden and Street Hawk are but a few. It’s not surprising that she is called so many different things, as it seems that Heidi never sits still. She is one of those people who has tried everything at least once, and she does confess that she “likes to be a free spirit, roaming the mountain ranges of Africa unencumbered by trivia like passports, permits, rules and regulations”. Climbing has been one of Heidi’s passions since she was 11, when her playground was Monteseel in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Since then she has done many great climbs, including The Resturant, Waterval Boven in Zimbabwe, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Paarl Rock, Montague and, her most recent addition, Du Toits Kloof. As far as hiking is concerned, Heidi has done many Drackensberg hikes, as well as the Fish River Canyon 5 day hike, which she has done twice. She has had hunting experiences and been fishing. She has done several full marathons, Argus races, ultra-triathlons and paddle races. She has learnt to water-ski, and the list really does go on and on. The list of countries she has been to is also amazing, and I would need a large map to show you every destination that Heidi has been to. In the Science Department, Heidi plans and oversees the development of the Science programme. She coordinates the authors, the development of modules and printed materials, and interacts with the graphic designers and the publishing department to ensure a steady flow of work. She also ensures that the updates come together in time to be sent out, and liaises with our Franchisees to ensure that the science product develops in the right direction. Heidi first became interested in the sciences because she had a burning desire to understand how things work. Her first moment of discovery was at the age of 10. She was curious about how the roads in the Kruger National Park had come to be corrugated. Her dad gave her an initial lesson on harmonic motion, and asked the right questions for Heidi to understand the difference between being told something and actually understanding it. Heidi’s most interesting teaching experience was giving a talk to over fifty people the day before a total solar eclipse. The ages varied from six to seventy years of age, and the levels of education in the room were just as diverse. She enjoyed being able to provide something for everyone. One of her favourite things is being able to ask a class a question that they do not know the answer to, and “teaching” them the lesson by encouraging them to ask the right questions. Her need to empower people to allow them to make informed decisions has always been close to her heart, and it is what led her to Master Science. Heidi is always the teacher. Here’s another one of her fascinating hobbies: “I am also a Western Leopard Toader – the WLT is an endangered species of toads that migrates to their breeding ponds on a few nights of the year in August/September. In the process they have to cross roads, which lead to a large number of them becoming “ex-toads”. I am one of the volunteers who go out nightly to carry them across the road.”

14


MEET and GREET . . . The SCIENCE DEPARTMENT Periodic Table

Sou

Chemistry

nd

Bruce McIntosh Bruce has been with Master Science since February 2008. He is originally from Masvingo in Zimbabwe, and is happiest living exactly where he is now. This decision is backed by plenty of travelling, as Bruce has also worked in the United Kingdom. His most interesting teaching experience took place at Brentside High School in the UK, and as he puts it was, “interesting as in ‘may you live in interesting times’”. To find out what exactly he means, you may just have to ask him yourself. Before becoming a teacher, Bruce spent time working as a waiter, a wine steward and a labourer [Ed – not all at the same time, I’m guessing]. After teaching for a while, Bruce joined Master Science, and he enjoys that he now has time to prepare his lessons properly. His diverse education (BSc in Chemical Engineering, Higher Diploma in Education and Qualified Teacher Status in the UK) helps him in his role as an author. Bruce believes that a good science teacher and tutor need to have a clear understanding of the topics which they teach. This is especially important to be able to understand concepts from the first basic levels, and then to proceed onto the more complex theories. Bruce’s interest in science stems from him wanting a deeper understanding of what everything is about, and how it all works. The areas that he has the most interest in are the ones he didn’t study, especially quantum theory, black holes, dark matter and anything else that he can learn about. Bruce has other interests than science. His favourite movie is Fargo and he enjoys eating seafood. He enjoys fishing and gardening in his down time, and he has a mad cat and some fish at home as pets.

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on think o t e l ts e bel ed; ab ere studen e s i n Bruc a wh hav ; org nt (!) e to grasp nfused or r e i t a P l o e “ et; ab ood, are c n in anoth e f r u t yo ers plai isund able to ex derstand.” m e v d un ha e; an m to u l e c h t o t n to ge way t a go

tha ieves

15


MEET MEETand andGREET GREET. . .. .The . TheSCIENCE SCIENCEDEPARTMENT DEPARTMENT Periodic Table

Chemistry

Sou

nd

Petra Snijman Petra is local to the Somerset West area, and was born in Stellenbosch. She has been with Master Science since January 2012, primarily working on translations and helping to adapt the modules to the CAPS curriculum. She always wanted to become a vet, and nature conservation is very close to her heart. Her father suggested that she complete a teaching qualification so that she would have something to fall back on in case she needed the option. Her teaching career progressed from teaching biology, to teaching science and loving it. Petra found that her love for science grew from the witty and challenging learners that she first had the privilege to teach. Petra changed career in 1990, when she started studying and working at the then Cape Technicon [Ed – now CPUT]. She moved to the Medical Research Council and later took a job at Stellenbosch University, specifically to present practical work to undergraduate Physical Chemistry students and supporting postgraduate students in their research. Petra has also worked as a tutor at disadvantaged schools in collaboration with an NGO. One of the highlights of Petra’s career has been working with children who were considered to be learning disabled. Even though she was warned that she would not be able to make any progress with these learners, as they cannot ‘think abstractly’, their marks and post-school achievements proved the contrary. It is here that she realised that believing in a child and his or her ability is a crucial foundation for the teaching process. By teaching children to solve problems in science, you give them skills to deal with real-life situations, and this is Petra’s favourite thing about the subject. The idea that there is no such thing as a big problem, you simply need to break it down first, also resonates with her. Petra has 4 animals at home, three cats and 1 dog, and she enjoys taking walks in the veld with her dog to relax. She enjoys reading, gardening and she is involved in feral cat projects to assist the animals and take care of them. Some of her favourite things are spending time with her friends, as well as going to the theatre and music shows.

s: ous qualification Petra has numer onservation BSc in Nature C n Diploma Higher Educatio mistry in Analytical Che a m lo ip D l na io Nat y MSc in Chemistr

16


MEET and GREET . . . The SCIENCE DEPARTMENT Periodic Table

Sou

Chemistry

nd

Adrianne Barker Adrianne has been with the Science department for the last three years. The staff at Head Office don’t get to see much of her, as she works from home. She authors the written material for the subject. She decided to work at Master Science, because she already knew of the maths programme. She believed that there was a need for an equivalent in physical science, and was happy to get involved because of the difference it makes for the learners. She loves being able to use her knowledge and experience to continue to enjoy and understand science. She spent many years in the classroom, and even thought she misses the environment, she no longer wants to be tied down by a full-time job. She spent many years teaching in a variety of different schools, and often for a few schools at a time. When she did decided to teach at only one school, she settled down and stayed for nineteen years. Adrianne believes that a good science teacher is someone who can hold a captive audience “spellbound” and eager to hear the next instalment of the lesson. She believes that the important part of teaching a lesson is to have the learners asking the questions, while the teacher guides the direction of the conversation. Science has always been in Adrianne’s “bones”. When she was in primary school she was awarded a box of toffees as her class voted her presentation on astronomy as the most interesting hobby. She also sent letters to the Cape Times at that time, which dealt with topics of a scientific nature. She loves being surrounded by science and being made aware of it when it is least expected. Adrianne’s favourite play is Chess the Musical, as it leaves the individual with a chessboard of options to unravel, much like real life. She enjoys hiking and mountain biking, and her husband’s Thai stir fry is her favourite meal!

Adrianna’s best teaching experience was when

she had free reign to do whatever she wanted

for an entire year with a matric maths class. The learners

had not passed maths in high school at any grade, and after working with them for a year (and starting from the grade

8 syllabus) only two of the learners did not pass their grade 12 maths exam.

17


FROM OUR INBOX There is no better feeling than hearing about how well our learners are doing thanks to our service. Not only does it confirm that what we do works, but also that our learners have a brighter future because of it. They have learnt that they can achieve anything they wish to, as long as they approach it from the right angle. Big thank you to the centres who have forwarded these stunning letters to us. It’s always great to get feedback!

Message sent to Maste r Ma�s Kloof from a Grade 7 learne r: I was an average student

before I joined

Master Maths in Kloof. Si

changed in so many ways

nce then, my life has

because:

1) I consistently achieve A-

grade passes,

2) I have earned the respe

3) I have become more co

ct and admiration of my tea

nfident in my approach to

I enjoy exams and tests sin

But most importantly for

ce I tackle them like I would

me, Master Maths has rel

It used to be frustrating for

This became a vicious down

grasped and the more frustr

ward spiral because the ha

Thankfully, Master Math

studying. my PS3 games.

ieved my parents from tutor

us all, especially when I did

ated we all became.

chers and peers,

ing me. not grasp a concept easily.

rder they tried, the less I

s Kloof tutors are patient and knowledgeable in a co mfortable environment that is conduc ive to learning. Now my pa rents have gone back to be ing my parents and I have become their proud son. Thank you Master Maths

18

Kloof.


Message sent to Master Ma�s Silverlakes Liewe S�ita en Master Ma� person�l.

from a proud mo�er:

ju�e te betuig Ek het nie genoeg wo�de om my dank aan kunde klasse! nie. Ju�e doen sov�l m�r as g� net wis e ongelooflik My dogtertjie se punte het in tw� kwartal t uit dankbaar. baie verbeter endaarvo� is ek uit my har te sê. Daar is egter baie m�r om vo� dankie t en sy glo in haar hart dat sy Haar selfvertroue het die hoogte ingeskie spanning ....in hu�e plek is die enige iets kan doen. Weg is die trane en de toets..."Mamma, ek is glad nie bang volgende wo�de die dag vo� die wiskun e punt g�!" nie en vanmiddag gaan ek vir jou n' goei Hierdie moeder -hart wou bars van die

trots en my trane was maar vlak.

Wo�de sal nooit genoeg w�s nie maar

DANKIE, DANKIE, DANKIE!

Message sent

to Master M

Dear Tanya an

Ridge from aths Randpark

d Brenda,

heart pest and most e e d y m ss re p I wish to ex tuition. ith his maths w n so d n ra g y helping m

a grateful gra

felt thanks fo

nny:

r

, our dedication y f o n o ti c e fl direct re bursary. t in marks is a n e m ve case for your ro y p h im rt o w His a d e e He is ind fessionalism. ro p d n a g n ri nd a c lly different a ta to e b l il w fe forward ut his whole li p in r u o y f o Because opportunities. re o m h it w d e h enric I than

is, it is deep k you for all th

ly appreciated

.

19


Around the net in 60 seconds . . . by Tamsin Haley

60

Social media is growing every day since more and more people gain access to the internet each year. In Africa, the biggest movement has been the mobile market. Mobile phones have allowed the internet to become portable, and people who never had access to it before can now make use of this opportunity. But what actually happens in an internet minute?

45

15

30

The following statistics are from studies done in 2012 and again in 2013. It shows us what’s happening on the web, and how quickly internet interaction is growing.

In an internet minute:

2012 Number of new posts

79 364

2 460 000

It’s increased by almost

30 times!

Number of new tweets

58 000

218 000

It’s increased by almost

4 times!

Number of searches

694 445

2 000 000

It’s increased by almost

3 times!

New video footage uploaded

25 hours

72 hours

It’s increased by almost

3 times!

Emails sent

New pictures uploaded

168 000 000

3 480

204 000 000

216 000

It’s increased by a fifth!

It’s increased by

62 times!

20

Professional searches

No data

11 000

Active users online

No data

11 000


Pinterest and Linkedin were included with these statistics, to show how even relatively new social media platforms can grow phenomenally in one year. If this is the interaction in one year, what will the statistics look like this time next year? It’s great that the internet has become an arena for discussion and conversation. People can now voice their opinions about anything, to anyone, at any time. But what does this mean for a brand like Master Maths? Surely posting anything into the craziness that is the internet is pointless. Imagine how much information has been put into the web in 5 minutes… The following are some of the tactics that are used on the Master Maths social media platforms. 1. We use pictures because they capture the viewer’s attention. It’s no wonder that Facebook has cottoned on to this, and posts with pictures are given higher ranking on people’s newsfeeds. A catchy picture goes a long way to making sure that clients remember who we are.

2. Using short form videos – the latest fad with teenagers in online marketing is the gif. This is a very short video, which normally replays itself, and has no sound. Even if the viewer is over the age of 18, videos catch people’s attention. Especially if it’s informing them of something in an entertaining way.

3. We avoid overly branded content – these days, everyone is constantly bombarded with too much information all of the time. People also feel that marketers and advertisers are only trying to sell them products and make money. You’ll notice in social media, the best marketing is done by brands who do not have their logos all over everything they do, but are interested in engaging with their supporters.

4. We make content relatable – it would make no sense to post information about cats on our Twitter timeline. Except for Chemistry Cat, who likes to make science puns based on the elements of the periodic table. Though this can seem strange, the association between the cat puns and our science programme provide common ground for this type of content to be shared. And this makes sense to our followers.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

5. We make images and copy engaging – people have joined social media so that they can become part of a bigger conversation and can feel that their voices are heard. By putting ourselves into this sphere, we encourage conversation with these people. By putting engaging pictures and comments onto our different platforms, people are more likely to join into conversation with us.

With these easy guidelines, it becomes easier to say something meaningful on the internet and to have people take notice of you. Anything fun that can be associated with our brands is always welcome on the different platforms. We look forward to seeing you chat to us on our different platforms! Remember that you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

References: 1. “Revealed, what happens in just ONE minute on the internet” by Victoria Woollaston, 30 July 2013, ww.dailymail.co.uk. 2. “5 tips for cutting through the clutter” by Ike Brooker, 31 May 2013, www.likeable.com

21


Master Maths represented in Hong Kong In July, four learners from Bloemfontein took part in the Po Leung Kuk 16th Primary Mathematics World Competition, which takes place in Hong Kong every year. They spent months getting ready for the competition, to make sure that they could compete at an international level. The main focus of the programme was to ensure that they could think for themselves. As it was an international competition, the group represented South Africa, along with other teams from Durban and Cape Town. The team was picked after partaking in several rounds of tests in the Bloemfontein area. 200 Free State learners signed up for the competition, and these four were awarded the privilege to represent our country at an international level. As this is such a large honour, the University of the Free State stepped in to help the learners raise sponsorship to be able to attend the competition. Hercules Dreyer, our partner from the School Change Project, contacted us to ask if we would like to contribute. His suggestion, as it was a maths competition, was to sponsor branded T-shirts that the learners could wear during the competition. It looks like the learners had a great time. On the bottom-left, the Bloemfontein team took a photo with the Durban and Cape Town teams that were also competing. On the bottom-right, you can see the group at the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong with their dark blue Master Maths T-shirts. Congratulations to the learners for all their hard work, which afforded them such a fantastic opportunity. We hope to see some more South African teams represent the country at next year’s competition. The photo at the top of the page is the team and their teachers which appeared in the community newspaper, The Courant. The learners from left to right: Albert Dreyer, Joe Schimeper, Ethan Travers and Driaan-Lou Kemp. The teachers who accompanied them can be seen in the front: Dr Schoombie and Mrs Wink.

22


What our tutors have to say . . . “I have a passion for mathematics and teaching. My aim is to make it enjoyable for the students and in the process, help them to develop a passion for maths as well.”

ODETTE SMITH

- Uitenhage

“As a tutor, I enjoy seeing my students do well. What makes the job fun for me is seeing students light up when they start understanding problems they thought were impossible. I also enjoy lots of movies and baking all kinds of goodies.”

LESLIE HAYWARD

SIMON THOSAGO

- Pretoria North

- Polokwane

- Kloof

"I thoroughly enjoy tutoring with the Master Maths system, it makes learning math both easy and fun for the students and helps them to achieve remarkable results."

ANDRE KEMP

"I like to help learners to feel good, understand maths and get good results."

“Master Mahts gives me the opportunity to change students' lives just like it changed mine when I was a student at Master Maths.”

“Science is a wonderful subject and I love helping the students learn the intricacies of our world.”

GRAEME THORNE

"Master Maths vermeerder elke dag my passie vir wiskunde en om wiskunde vir kinders te leer. Die gees in die sentrum is wonderlik en die kinders en kollegas is fantasties om mee saam te werk! Mens kan sien hoe die program die kinders help en dit bring my geluk as hul punte verbeter en mens sien hoe hul selfvertroue verbeter RUMARIE VAN DER WALT met die vak." - Bloemfontein

- Bryanston “I endeavour to deliver the most professional service to all the clients coming to the Polokwane Master Maths Centre, so they leave with satisfaction every time”

PASCAR SITHOLE

COLIN HATANGIMINA

"I have been tutoring mathematics for 3 years. I enjoy tutoring; I believe that when a student understands the fundamentals of mathematics he or she is then able to do more challenging problems. Mathematics is also important for any student who wishes to establish a successful career in their future." - Boksburg

- Sandton

NYARADZAI FUMHE

- Kempton Park


HEAD OFFICE is here to support

YOU!

Back Row (left to right): Guillaume Oberholzer, Hannes Hattingh, Dirk Grobler, Marius Myburg, Gia Hindley, Petra Snijman, Megan Antonie, Robbie van der Westhuizen, Burger Holz and Jaco Nel. Middle Row (left to right): Tamsin Haley, Nathaniel Witten, Clare-Marie Murphy, Amelia Doty, Megan Forster, Tammy Oliver, Melissa Sauls-Jumat, Veronica Adams, Desnique Robyn, Shirley Jordaan, Gerda Heyns, Trish van Driessche and Bruce McIntosh. Front Row (left to right): Coral Meyer, Adrie Schoeman, Martin Welgens, Heidi Schoute-Vanneck and Bonnie Prinsloo. Absent: Debbie Tavares, Diana van der Westhuizen, Adrianne Barker and Pieter Welgens.

Give us a call when you need a hand!

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The Master Edition Issue 03  

The Master Edition Issue 03  

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