Top learners to attend London International Youth Science Forum
16 July 2015
The top four National Science Olympiad performers in grade 12 will be jetting off to the United Kingdom to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) from the 22nd of July to 5th of August 2015.
The LIYSF is a two-week residential event held at Imperial College London, with lectures and demonstrations from leading scientists, and visits to industrial sites, research centres, scientific institutions and organisations, including world class laboratories and universities.
The top national learner in Physical Science is Jeremy Wilkinson from Bishops College in Cape Town who scored 77% in the Olympiad examination. Ulrich Wagner from Crawford College Pretoria topped the Life Science paper with 65%.
Lesibana Rammutla from Erasmus Monareng High School in Vosloorus topped the scores of pupils from previously disadvantaged schools in Physical Science with a score of 65%, and Fatimah Hajee from Star College Durban was the top girl learner in Physical Science with 67%.
Wilkinson is ecstatic about the UK trip. “The prospect of seeing what arguably the greatest scientific nation in history has to offer is very exciting,” he said.
“I hope to learn more about the history of science in the UK, and explore the country which I am aiming to study at later in my life.
“I still have not decided on what career I want to pursue and I hope the trip will give me some insight into that, but mainly I want to learn some interesting new things about science, technology and industry.
“I personally wanted to win the National Science Olympiad, since I first performed well in grade 9 and so it certainly is a major personal goal completed,” Wilkinson added.
Ulrich Wagner is over the moon about travelling to the UK. “I’m aiming to learn a lot and really enjoy myself before finals/prelims set out to ruin what little life I have this year,” he jokingly said.
“I’m really looking forward to both the Natural History museum and the botanical gardens,” Wagner added.
Rammutla does not know what to expect in London, but said he was not going to allow the trip to distract him from his goal of passing his matric exams well.
LIYSF attracts more than 400 of the world’s leading young scientists aged between 17 and 21 years from more than 60 participating countries. There is an active social calendar with events designed to enable those from around the world to learn about different cultures.
The scope of LIYSF extends further than broadening scientific understanding to engaging students in learning about other cultures and helping them develop lasting, international friendships.
The National Science Olympiad is one of SAASTA’s flagship projects. Since 2005, the 51-year-old project has offered learners in grades 10-12 an exciting opportunity to compete in science with their counterparts from Southern African Development Community countries such as Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
The competition comprises an annual examination in science (Physical and Life Sciences). Top learners and schools win exciting prizes.
The top four learners in this year’s competition won an all-expenses-paid trip to the LIYSF and the top two in grade 11 earned an excursion to Australian National Youth Science Forum.
The Olympiad comprises two papers/streams: Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry) and Life Science. Learners can choose to write either the Physical Science or Life Science papers.
The main aim of the competition is to identify talent, to encourage excellence in science education and to stimulate interest in the sciences. It seeks to inspire young people to consider careers in science and technology.