July 2015
Contents / home
Special award for Limpopo learner
National Science Olympiad Awards
Youth Science Focus Week
Showing career opportunities to girls
Africa Code Week
FameLab International Competition
My FameLab experience
Debates winners off to New York
Finding solutions to energy problems
Centenary of Proxima Centauri
Meet SAASTA's Gao Tiro
Refocusing our lens on our youth
Science on a research vessel
Partnership to conserve water
Managing freshwater resources
Rhodes and SAIAB promote science
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

Top achievers experience the real world of science

  The learners explore the interactive activities at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation
  Learning more about skywatching, astronomy, star gazing and comets in the night sky at Johannesburg Observatory
  The young techno boffins are exposed to the science and technology underpinning South Africa's minerals and metals industry
  Learners find out more about our planet's amazing biodiversity at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
The 100 top performers in the National Science Olympiad were invited to attend the Youth Science Focus Week in Pretoria in the week starting June 29.

Whereas the main objective of the National Science Olympiad is to nurture potential scientists, the Youth Focus Week exposes the youngsters to careers in science, engineering and technology (SET).

Role models

The learners, who hail from South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, were exposed to a wide range of role models with careers in science, engineering and technology. They were taken on visits to companies in different sectors of the economy for an introduction to the "real world" of work and career options available in these sectors.

The first stop was at Cullinan Diamond Mines where they witnessed a range of different professionals at work in the science, engineering and technology fields. The learners got to see first-hand what a normal work day consists of for workers in the mining sector such as geologists and electrical and mining engineers.

Then the bright young minds were off to the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in Silverton, Pretoria, a government body charged with finding the best ways to protect South Africa's legendary biodiversity and leverage its benefits to society.

Other sites the learners visited included Nissan South Africa, the Wits Origins Centre, the Johannesburg Observatory, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, the Pretoria Botanical Garden, Denel Dynamics and the Sci-Enza Science Centre. These visits exposed the learners to careers in engineering, botany and zoology, among others.

Speaking at the National Science Olympiad awards event, which marked the end of the Focus Week on July 2, the learner representatives said they found the experience invaluable in helping them decide on a future career.

Youth Science Focus Week forms part of SAASTA's role-modelling campaign that includes career days organised nationally at schools.