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!

SAASTA exposes girl learners to exciting career opportunities

Sixty-five grade 11 and 12 learners from Lofentse Girls High School in Orlando, Soweto visited SAASTA's Johannesburg Observatory on 28 May 2015 to learn more about career options in the fields of science, technology, engineering and innovation.

The programme aims to expose female learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to varied career opportunities and to inspire them to dream big
A window to a bright future – dialogue sessions and presentations exposed girl learners to diverse careers in exciting new fields such as nanotechnology, astrophysics, optics and hydrogen technology

SAASTA hosted the learners at the behest of the Department of Water and Sanitation, which has adopted the school in collaboration with the Australian High Commission and organised the tour as part of the annual "Take a Girl Child to Work" programme.

"Dream, Believe, Achieve"

The programme aims to expose female learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to varied career opportunities and to inspire them to dream big. This year's event ran under the theme "Dream, Believe, Achieve".

Mobile telephony company Cell C pioneered the programme, with the first event taking place on 8 May 2003. It has gained traction with many other entities in both the public and private sectors coming on board. About 50 000 young women are estimated to benefit from this programme annually.

Kenny Mabaso, a water quality scientist at the Department of Water and Sanitation, organised the visit on behalf of the partnership between Australia and South Africa. Kenny said he hoped that through this initiative the learners would be able to make informed career decisions in the all-important fields of science, engineering and technology.

"We are planning that these kids may be exposed to what engineers and scientists (do on a daily basis) by taking them to those institutions," he said. "We have identified SAASTA as one institution that can help us achieve this."

Showcasing diverse careers

A tour of the Observatory exposed the learners to astronomy, astrophysics and optics through different exhibits and displays. Other SAASTA-run programmes including the Nanotechnology Public Engagement Programme and the Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) programme participated in the event through presentations on the respective technologies, dialogue sessions on careers in the sectors and the distribution of educational resource materials.

The Hydrogen South Africa Public Awareness, Demonstration and Education Platform made an introductory presentation on the technology and demonstrations through hydrogen education kits. It further engaged learners on careers in the sector.