Flagship events help to excite learners about science and technology

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SANSA's participation in these events reached over 2500 learners to awaken and stimulate their interest in careers in space science to create the capacity the country needs in this area.

Once again this year, the third quarter of 2016 saw the staging of two flagship events on the national and global science and technology calendars – National Science Week and World Space Week. Locally, the events brought together the role players, decision-makers and scholars involved and interested in science and technology and showcased local and international achievements in this dynamic field of endeavour. 

National Science Week (NSW) 2016

Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor, reached more than 3,000 learners from across the province with messages about the importance of science and technology in sustainable development and quality of life in her opening address at the NSW launch event at the University of Western Cape on 6 August 2016.

What was NSW all about?

National Science Week (NSW) is a DST initiative that involves stakeholders and role players in science-related activities to showcase the benefits of science to society. The theme for NSW 2016 was “Science for Sustainable Development and Improved quality of Life” and took place from 8-13 August. 

Click here for a look at SANSA's action-packed NSW open day in Hermanus.

"We will catalyse vibrant, knowledge-based activities in South Africa that are driven by the quality of the scientists we train, the quality of our research and development infrastructure and the enablers we have put in place to turn scientific research into technology."
In addition to hosting an exhibition at the main event, SANSA hosted a number of space science-based activities throughout the 8-13 August focus week, including school visits, public talks, a community day and an open day in Hermanus, which reached a total of 690 members of the public.

World Space Week (WSW) 2016

WSW is the largest public space event on Earth and is celebrated annually across the globe from 4-10 October, as declared by the United Nations in 1999. Themed "Remote Sensing – Enabling Our Future", this year's event attracted more than 1 800 events in 73 countries to celebrate the contribution of space science and technology to the development of humankind.

SANSA's Science Advancement teams hosted and/or participated in a range of activities, from balloon launches to designing satellites and building circuit boards – all to create awareness about the benefits of space technology in our daily lives.

At a SANSA hosted event in the Cape Town Science Centre, 60 grade 7 learners teamed up to design and build a satellite, as well as a rocket to launch the satellite. The teams had to factor in technical details, such as the satellite's science mission, desired orbit and size and had to construct a visual model of a satellite, either sketched on paper or built from everyday items. A panel of judges selected the winning team.

SANSA's NSW Open Day in Hermanus included fun, hands-on activities such as satellite, rocket and planet building, soldering of LED flasher kits, engaging with exhibits in the science centre and launching water rockets. Visitors were also treated to "Speed Dating a Scientists" and a fascinating talk on Space Spin-Offs by Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell.

The SANSA Space Lab visited various schools in the Eastern and Western Cape during National Science Week and World Space Week.


 Grade 7 learners presenting their satellite and rocket building ideas at the World Space Week event hosted at the Cape Town Science Centre.

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