January 2014
Contents / home
SET career opportunities
SKA boosts education in the Karoo
NanoWriting - the big challenge
Workshopping with nanotechnologists
SKA astronomy workshop in KZN
Learner names first nano-satellite
Matatiele honours its young scientists
Beijing Science Festival
Kimberley invaded by scientists
Meet Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan
Dear Diary ...
Coelacanth discovery anniversary
SAEON recognises best studies
ZooClub participates in rhino debate
Youth entranced by marine life
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

Kimberley invaded by space scientists

In October last year, representatives from nine organisations involved in space science and related disciplines landed in Kimberley in the Northern Cape armed with exhibition material and an inflatable mobile planetarium for exhibitions, demonstrations and talks. They also launched some rockets to good effect!

The Space Science Open Day aimed to inform 534 learners in Grades 9 to 12, 15 educators and 20 members of the public about the peaceful uses of space science and the role South Africa has to fulfil in global space science.

Learners enjoyed the wide variety of hands-on activities at the exhibition

The theme of World Space Week was "Exploring Mars, Discovering Earth"
Learners had ample opportunity to find out more about the huge range of careers available in space science

The Open Day activities were crafted to create awareness among learners of the concept of space, the history of space exploration, the scientific principles behind rocketry, the uses of rockets and satellites, the importance of Earth observations, various applications of space sciences and the huge range of career possibilities. The campaign also created an opportunity for strengthening relations between role players in space science in South Africa.


The highlight of the Open Day was a presentation by Dr Woodrow Whitlow Junior, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glen Research Center Director, who gave an inspiring talk. In his youth, Whitlow aspired to be a chemist until space missions in the 1960s captured his imagination, changing his career goal to astronaut. Until recently, he was responsible for organising and overseeing mission-related activities at the Glen Center.

The Science Awareness Platforms facilitated SAASTA's participation in the festival, with the Science Communication unit and Science Education unit participating. The list of exhibitors included SAASTA; HartRAO; the Cape Peninsula University of Technology/French-South African Technology Institute in Electronics (F'SATI); South African National Space Agency (Space Operations); the Agricultural Research Council's Institute for Soil, Climate and Water; the Department of Trade and Industry (Space Affairs); Marcom Aeronautics; Denel Dynamics and the SA Weather Service.

SAASTA's involvement in space science education, outreach and awareness stems from its first involvement in World Space Week, when it was first celebrated in South Africa in 2003.