Top young learners compete in the National Science debate competition

Top debaters from Randfontein High School from Gauteng province were crowned the national winners of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) Schools Debates competition at an award ceremony held on Thursday 26 September 2019 to celebrate the achievements of learners participating in SAASTA’s Olympiads and competitions. The SAASTA National Schools Debating competition is a flagship initiative of SAASTA’ Science Communication Division, aiming to develop research and critical thinking skills through researching and debating scientific topics.

All provincial winners of the 2019 SAASTA National Schools Debates competition gathered in Pretoria for the national finals and a week full of stimulating engagement with science and technology from 22 to 27 September 2019. On Tuesday, 24 September 2019, the nine teams, each representing their province,  engaged in vigorous and lively debate on the current and relevant topic of hydrogen fuel cell technologies, and whether the anticipated developments in these technologies could offer sustainable solutions in the energy and transport sectors, while addressing climate change concerns. Teams brought different perspectives to the debate, focusing on socio-cultural, economic and political issues, and the applications and benefits of the technologies.

The Randfontein High School team presented strong and well-rounded arguments in their debate, engaged well with the other teams and were consistent throughout the competition and, as a result, they were pronounced the 2019 SAASTA National debate champions. Second place was awarded to Port Shepstone High school from KZN and third place went to Holly Cross High School from the Western Cape.

As part of their prize, the Randfontein High School team will be touring South Africa and visiting various significant sites of scientific research and development in the country, including the Square Kilometre Array in the Northern Cape and iThemba Labs in the Western Cape.

SAASTA congratulates the provincial winners who represented their provinces in the national competition:

Holly Cross High School   Western Cape  
St Michael School for Girls   Free State  
West Bank Senior Secondary School   Eastern Cape  
Port Shepstone High   Kwazulu Natal  
Mashishing Secondary School   Mpumalanga  
Randfontein High School   Gauteng  
Kimberly Girls High   Northern Cape  
Hartbeespoort High North West  
S.J Vander Merwe Technical High School Limpopo  
2019 SAASTA National Schools Debates Winners - Randfontein High School( Gauteng )
1st Runners up – Portshepstone High School(KZN)
2nd Runners up - Holy Cross High School( Western Cape)

Registration for 2020

To enter the competition each school must complete the entry form and submit it to SAASTA.

Closing date for entries: 15 February 2020.

A maximum of 15 schools will be able to attend the provincial tournament per province.