The 51st National Science Olympiad awards, which celebrate excellence in science teaching and learning, took place at Emperors Palace on 2 July 2015.
This annual event recognises Southern Africa's top young science achievers and schools in the disciplines of Physical and Life Sciences.
|Top learners in Physical Science with the iPads they won for their efforts
||ALL SMILES: Top learners in Life Science brandish their laptop prizes
The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, congratulated the winners and sensitised them to the magnitude of their responsibility towards South Africa, Africa and the world as a whole. The world needs new solutions that will foster sustainable development and result in food and energy security, among other things.
"We need you to provide these sustainable solutions that will ensure that we save the Earth and its resources for future generations," Ms Pandor told the budding young scientists in her keynote address at the awards ceremony. "South Africa and the whole of Africa are confronted with the urgent challenge of developing our science and technology capabilities so that we are able to respond to the development challenges of the continent.
"We are keen to see success and the development of scientists in all disciplines – the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. Our focus in the Olympiad programme is on expanding quality and success in mathematics, the natural sciences, and the life sciences. We are short of skills and we must fill the gap."
The Olympiad aims to contribute towards excellence in science among learners and to encourage them to take up careers in science, engineering and technology. Thousands of learners in grades 10 to 12 wrote either the Physical Sciences or Life Science paper on 5 March this year.
At the awards event, winners in the different categories received prizes such as laptops, iPads and cash vouchers. The top-performing schools received cash prizes of up to R5 000.
In addition, the top four learners in grade 12 will attend the London International Youth Science Forum in July 2016. These learners are JJ Wilkinson (Bishops High School, Western Cape), who achieved the best marks in Physical Science and U Wagner (Crawford College, Pretoria), who outperformed all in Life Science. Joining them will be FH Hajee (Star College, Durban), the top girl learner in Physical Science and LT Rammutla (Erasmus Monareng High, Vosloorus), who achieved the best marks in Physical Science for a learner at a previously disadvantaged school.
One top achiever in grade 10 and another in grade 11 will attend the Science Focus Week in Australia in January 2016. The two learners are J Yu (Crawford College, Pretoria) for achieving the best marks in Physical Science among the grade 10s and RA Purcell (St Mary's DSG Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal), who beat her grade 11 counterparts in the Life Science category.
Another top winner in the 2015 National Science Olympiad awards was HY Mathivha (from Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo, a previously disadvantaged school) for his sterling and consistent performance in the Olympiad for three consecutive years. He walked away with a Special Award voucher worth R40 000 towards registration and tuition fees at a university of his choice.
For information about National Science Olympiad 2016, contact:
Tel: (012) 392 9340/ 9343/9346
Fax: (012) 320 7803/392 9350