The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) aims to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering and technology in South Africa. SAASTA is business Unit of the National Research Foundation.
|Science Awareness Platform|
The Science Awareness Platform achieves this through the following focus areas:
This unit occupies the Observatory in Johannesburg where exhibitions on engineering, optics, astronomy, astrophysics and space science are hosted. Learning facilities include the infinity room, forensic laboratories, telescope domes and the TRAC laboratory.
The Johannesburg Observatory also has the following resources available for learners, educators and the public: forensic science laboratories; a computer laboratory; a library; several telescopes; more than 25 exhibits in the form of interactive hands-on models; and travelling exhibits such as SciQuest and StarLab.
About SAASTA’s Science Awareness Platform
We generate new ideas and bring them to life through Science and Technology Awareness and interactive experiences. By raising the awareness of science through exploration, exhibitions and actual experience, the team inspires people about the wonder and application of science.
The Unit's goals are to:
The Science Awareness Platform's strategy is underpinned by the national government strategies which are focused on improving the lives of ordinary members of South African society.
The key objectives are to:
The science awareness thrust of SAASTA has four key focus areas: Programmes, Exhibitions, Networks and Science Festivals.
It was then known as the Permanent Exhibition of Contemporary Science with exhibitions on space, atomic energy, agricultural sciences, water and South African Antarctic expeditions. Under the auspices the SA Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3) and in conjunction with the fledgling Foundation for Education, Science and Technology (which was responsible for the erection of the Didacta Building) the Museum moved into its new premises in 1965 and was known as the Museum for Science and Industry. It acquired a number of new exhibitions such as biology and started receiving regular visits from schools.
The Museum of Science and Technology closed its doors in 2007, after 47 years. The closure of the museum did not however leave the community in and around Pretoria without any excitement and knowledge of science and technology. Through SAASTA’s support, there are new plans to further develop a Life Science Centre in the National Zoological Gardens (NZG). The historic building of the Museum of Natural History will be used for this centre. This building needs to be fully restored according to heritage requirements. It is envisaged that the NZG Life Science Centre will serve as a focal point for the science education, awareness and outreach programmes of the NZG and that it will provide a unique science experience for visitors, also involving the inhabitants of the zoo.
SAASTA also acquired the Johannesburg Observatory site in 2003 and is currently refurbishing this site to accommodate a multifaceted interactive science facility with a specific focus on astronomy and engineering. The first phase, which includes facilities such as science and computer laboratories, offices and space for indoor and outdoor exhibits, has been completed and the centre opened its doors to the public in January 2008.
Contact: Shadrack Mkansi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SAASTA, acquired the Johannesburg Observatory (JObs) in 2003 and is currently refurbishing this site to accommodate a multifaceted interactive science awareness facility with a specific focus on astronomy and engineering.
SAASTA Astronomy Quiz