The DST supports ASTEMI, the Association of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Innovation Olympiads and Competitions, which was formed in 2016. The support provided to the Olympiads and competitions forms part of the ‘Youth into Science Strategy’ which has the strategic goals of promoting science among the public and the youth, as well as the identification and nurturing of young people with talent and potential to follow a career in science.

ASTEMI is a collaboration that brings organisers of STEMI Olympiads & Competitions together to expand Olympiads & Competitions to a broader base of learners and educators.


ASTEMI is a national non-profit organization of independent organizations; teachers, public organisations and volunteers dedicated to improving and promoting science education and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both learners and teachers.


To promote excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation in South African schools.


To use Olympiads and Competitions:

  • To contribute to high-quality STEM education for all school learners from Grades R-12.
  • To assist in identifying and nurturing talent of promising young South Africans and to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • To encourage as many schools as possible to achieve excellence in STEM.
  • To help instill a passion for teaching and learning of STEM subjects.
  • To encourage learners to become potentially more employable.


Mathematics and science Olympiads and Competitions, together with the people and organizations’ engaged with them, form an important part of a national network. Each individual organization’s Olympiads and Competitions have a unique way of identifying, motivating developing and steering young talent towards careers in science. All these Olympiads and Competitions have a positive impact on education and on educational institutions in South Africa, but there is still a need to build stronger collaboration among teachers, schools, universities and educational authorities in order to meet the challenges of STEM education in South Africa today.


The phrase “Olympiads and Competitions” embraces a wide range of activities that normally take place outside the formal school curriculum. These include:

  • Local, regional and national competitions with thousands of
  • Multi-level events of two or more rounds that become increasingly challenging and culminate in top-level Olympiads.
  • Enrichment programmes to inspire promising young South Africans to pursue STEMI
  • Talent searches and similar programmes to select and train national teams to represent the country in international
  • Organisation of international Olympiads in South Africa.

ASTEMI brings together all role players in the field of Olympiads and Competitions – including professional and academic societies, universities and other tertiary institutions, private enterprise and government – to promote, coordinate and extend STEMI Olympiads in South Africa.