|Contents / home|
|Science Lens winners|
|Young, innovative and gifted|
|Intern receives Fellowship in Paris|
|Transformation in marine science|
|Looking for the brainiacs of yesteryear|
|Skies alive with space activities|
|Training the trainers|
|On your marks ... Get SET Go!|
|Schools debates advisory committee|
|Science community volunteers|
|The science of giving back|
|New science communication resource|
|Bringing nanotech to the disabled|
|Meet media guru Daryl Ilbury|
|Water World @ Scifest Africa 2014|
|Exploring marine science|
|Sharks, vegetables and alien fish|
|In the news|
|It's a fact!|
Young, innovative and gifted
One of the most important elements of the forum is the half-day visits to research and industry facilities. Learners embark on a range of visits depending on their stated areas of scientific interest. The range covers physics, maths and computing, chemistry, biomedicine, animal and plant biology, earth and environmental sciences, and engineering. The aim is to inform, inspire and challenge learners to consider what working in different fields is really like. They have a unique opportunity to talk to dozens of practicing scientists and engineers at and about their work.
New technologies and sciences
This year's bright young learners were in awe as they gained insight into new technologies and sciences. Luthundo Mdadane felt the forum opened his eyes to the wide range of opportunities available in biology. "Over the course of the forum the group and I undertook various lab visits, covering a large range of biological sciences. This was my first experience using a micropipette," said Luthundo.
Keitumetse Mokoena thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with some of the great scientists at ACTEW Water, a facility which daily provides over 100 million litres of treated water to Canberra and Queanbeyan residents in Australia. Another highlight for the learners was a visit to Canberra Hospital where they explored an autopsy room and a museum dedicated to preserved organs. Throughout these lab visits the learners discovered many different professions that they did not previously know existed.
At the Australian National University they spent time visiting key research facilities, attending debates and forums on major scientific topics such as climate change and meeting with major industry partners such as the Cochlear Foundation, Murray Darling Basin Authority, University of Melbourne, Resmed and many more.
According to Vhutshilo Nekhwalivha, SAASTA's project coordinator who acted as their chaperone, all these experiences at the various facilities played a major role in making the sessions a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for the budding scientists. "It vastly improved their understanding not only of the field of science they are interested in, but also of the myriad fascinating opportunities that science as a whole can present," she said.
The NYSF succeeds admirably in igniting the curiosity of the learners and providing them with valuable concepts, life skills and career options in science, engineering and technology. Whereas before they imagined scientists to be people who spend all their time in dreary labs, wearing white coats and doing experiments, they now know that a career in science is vital in solving many of the problems that the world faces today.
By Daphney Molewa, Corporate Communicator, SAASTA