May 2015
Contents / home
Learners to link up with astronaut
Shared Sky, shared wisdom
"Talking science" competition
A meeting of minds
Young scientists take on Australia
Learners unveil project in Beijing
Introduction to crystals
Young Science Communicators' Competition
SAASTA inspires class of 2015
Meet Prof. Nox Makunga
Top young achiever's journey
Wonders of water at Scifest Africa
Learners work with particle physicists
Meet SAEON's new education officer
Light comes out of the darkness
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

Young Science Communicators' Competition: "What's at steak?"

  Runner up in the Viral Video category: Michelle Low – What is this buzzword 'sustainability'?
"A brilliant piece."

"Well-written, displaying all the components of a seasoned popular science writer."

These were just some of the comments received from the judges of SAASTA's Young Science Communicators' Competition to Alexander Venter's winning entry entitled "Food for thought: What's at steak?"

Alexander is an MSc student in Sustainable Agriculture at Stellenbosch University. He was successfully able to communicate some sobering information about our current state of food production and its impact on the environment, through his well-structured and creative piece, with thoughtful analogies and clever play on words.

Platform for gifted communicators

Overall, feedback from the judges on the quality of entries of this past year's Young Science Communicators' Competition was positive. The competition aims to encourage young scientists to communicate their work through various media, and is used as a platform to identify young and talented science communicators.

The number of entries received for the competition shows that many young scientists are passionate about communicating. In line with SAASTA's purpose of developing science communication skills, the feedback from the judges for each entry is made available – to encourage the young scientists to develop their skills and to take their passion for communication further.

The four categories of this past year's competition included a newspaper or magazine article, a radio script, a viral video, and a new open category to include different types of communication tools such as poetry or graffiti.


Newspaper/Magazine Article
Winner: Alexander Venter – Food for thought: What's at Steak?
Runner Up: Petrie Jansen Van Vuuren – Awakening damaged brains...with a sleeping pill!

Radio Script
Winner: Moleseng Moshobane – The creepiest creatures
Runner Up: Suné Von Solms – Radio advert: Cyber safety

Viral Video
Winner: Elizna Maasdorp – Randomised controlled trials
Runner Up: Michelle Low – What is this buzzword 'sustainability'?

Open Category
Winner: Ikenna Mbakwe - What the Chameleon Said
Runner up: Suné Von Solms - Collection of Cyber Safety Posters

Encouraging scientists to communicate their work

The Young Science Communicators' Competition is just one of the competitions run by SAASTA to encourage scientists to communicate their work. This competition alternates biennially with the Southern African Science Lens competition, which awards the use of photography as a mode of communicating with and engaging audiences on science and technology.

SAASTA is also the national partner and major sponsor of the FameLab competition in South Africa, which awards science communication through the art of public speaking.

These competitions all recognise various modes of communication and encourage all personalities to find their avenue to communicate. To find out more about the competitions, visit

By Joanne Riley, SAASTA