|Contents / home|
|Debates winners in New York|
|SA learners scoop silver in Beijing|
|SA scientist impresses in FameLab|
|Nanotech draws attention in Kenya|
|SAASTA salutes David Block|
|Science Centre CEO awarded|
|Young science brainpower awarded|
|75 years of coelacanth research|
|Join in recording the diversity of life|
|Open your own Science Spaza|
|The Universe is expanding|
|"Space Skype" links kids|
|Coastal and marine science in SA|
|A scientist for a day|
|iThemba LABS - advancing knowledge|
|Ex ZooClub members' success|
|In the news|
|It's a fact!|
SA's top young science brainpower awarded
On Monday I July, the 110 best achievers arrived in Pretoria for a week of edutainment and exposure to careers in science, engineering and technology. The learners attended lectures by experts in various fields of science and visited a mine, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, the Botanical Gardens, Forensic Laboratories, Denel, the Sci-Enza Science Centre at the University of Pretoria and the Johannesburg Observatory for an evening of sky viewing.
"Our intention is to expose the learners to the world of science and to let them see for themselves where the science is happening," says Dr Jabu Nukeri, Managing Director of SAASTA. The competition is aimed at encouraging excellence in science education, stimulating interest in the sciences and inspiring young people to consider careers in science, engineering and technology.
The week culminated in an awards event, where the youngsters were treated to motivational talks by two inspiring young scientists - Wandile Mabanga, who is currently completing his Masters' in Theoretical Physics at Wits and Dr Patience Mthunzi, a senior scientist in the biophotonics research group within the National Laser Centre of the CSIR.
Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Basic Education reminded the learners of the example set by former President Nelson Mandela. He said that however far the learners bring it in life, they need to stay connected to other people because that is how they can amplify and evaluate the impact of their knowledge and expertise.
Dr Thomas Auf der Heyde, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Science and Technology told the audience how technology made huge strides in the first six decades of the 20th century and challenged them to do the same for this century. "If, by shaping your future and career, you want to be part of shaping the future, I invite and encourage you to join the exciting world of science and technology in South Africa," he said.
In his address Graham Briggs, CEO of Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd, urged the learners to be passionate about science and technology, for that is how they can help shape the future of our country. Apart from being the main sponsor of the Olympiad, Harmony, one of the largest gold producers in the world, also sponsors participation in the Olympiad of schools in the areas close to their mines, coaching of these learners and their teachers, as well as educational material to assist them to participate and excel in the competition.
Then it was time to announce the winners and present the prizes. The top national performers won an all-expenses-paid trip to the London International Youth Science Forum or the Australian National Science Focus Week. Forty prizes - including laptop and desktop computers and laboratory equipment - were handed to the deserving winners and schools.
The top five achievers were:
The overall winner of the Olympiad, who scored the highest marks in the Physical Science paper, was Thiolan Naidoo of Star College in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2012 Thiolan also scored the highest marks in this category of the Olympiad as a Grade 11 learner. Since Thiolan attended the London International Youth Science Forum last year, he received a laptop computer this year. Lloyd Mahadeo, also from Star College, will attend the Forum this year.
The Forum brings together over 300 students of the sciences from almost 60 countries on the five continents. The learners participate in a programme of lectures and demonstrations from leading scientists, as well as visits to industrial sites and research facilities.
Register for the next Olympiad!
Registration for the 2014 National Science Olympiad will open in September this year and the final closing date is 2 December 2013. Please visit www.saasta.ac.za for more information.