In 2015, the week-long event included visits to the National Botanical Gardens, the National Zoological Gardens, Denel Dynamics, the SABS, the Johannesburg Observatory, NECSA, the Cullinan Diamond Mine, Sci-Enza, Camera Obscura and the Wits Origins Centre.
The Focus Week culminated in a high profile Awards Ceremony held at Emperors Palace, to which key stakeholders from Government, Science Councils, and the Business sector were invited. This year the keynote speaker was the Honourable Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology. Over 30 awards were given to deserving schools and learners in different categories.
Along with these awards, two special prizes were awarded: Hamandishe Mathivha, who wrote the Olympiad for 3 consecutive years, was awarded a special prize for placing in the top 100 learners, in each of those years. He was awarded a voucher worth R40, 000.00, towards registration and tuition fees, at a University of his choice.
Dylan Forbes-Wilkinson was awarded The SAASTA Hero Award, for reacting swiftly and assisting at the scene of an accident at Cullinan Diamond Mines, in which a pedestrian was injured, during the SAASTA tour of the mine. He received a SAASTA wind-up and solar powered radio, in recognition of his evident community spirit.
Over the years, participation and performance in the National Science Olympiad has increased significantly from approximately 700 learners in 1967, to over 30 000 in 2014. SAASTA encourages careers in Science, Engineering and Technology, by identifying and nurturing talent and by exposing learners to opportunities to further their studies and careers.