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!

STEMI Olympiad Conference: Refocusing our lens on our youth

In 2014 the Department of Science and Technology (DST) adopted a framework for supporting basic education, which includes the role of science, engineering, technology, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) Olympiads and competitions in complementing the learning of maths, science and technology (MST).

Bella Maleto, Lindokuhle Ragedi, Jane Sepati and Musa Shikwambane, atomic scientists from Limpopo, are flanked by Njabulo Mbetu (left) and Nelani Mbokazi from Jive Media
Armand Duvenage presented on his experiences at regional and national STEMI Olympiads and competitions

The DST views STEMI Olympiads and competitions as opportunities for learners to extend the knowledge gathered from formal classroom learning, whilst laying the foundations for creativity and innovation which are crucial for human capital development in science, engineering and technology (SET).

SAASTA organised a STEMI Olympiad and Competition Conference that took place in Gauteng earlier this year. The theme was "Working together towards increased learner participation and improved performance standards in STEMI Olympiads and competitions".

Four guest speakers zoomed in on various topics related to STEMI Olympiads and competitions. Dr BP Alant addressed the question of whether it was possible to broaden access, participation and performance in STEM and compete at a global level at the same time. Dr VG Govender interrogated learners' and teachers' views of factors contributing to the popularity of Mathematics Olympiads and competitions in some schools. Dr Mdu Ndlovu looked at challenges facing Olympiads and competitions in the country, while Dr Dale Taylor discussed the topic "Township learners and the Eskom Expo Community of Practice".

Key stakeholders

Twenty eight STEMI Olympiad and competition organisers, officials from the Department of Basic Education, educators, learners, undergraduates and science centre representatives participated in the conference. SAASTA's Monitoring and Evaluation Unit kept a watchful eye on the proceedings and an impact study is being conducted.

The conference was well rated and highly recommended by the participants. The final report will be submitted to the DST in due course.

By Daphney Molewa, SAASTA