NWU Mafikeng Campus science festival thrills learners
Learners from various schools across the North West province took advantage of the winter holiday season to attend the science festival at the Mafikeng Campus of the North-West University (NWU).
The festival was held from 26-28 June 2012 and inspired many learners to follow careers in the science field.
On display were science magic shows, astronomy, nanotechnology applications, nuclear science demonstrations and agricultural science presentations, among others.
Many of the learners said the festival opened their eyes to new possibilities and that they would consider careers in science when they enrolled for tertiary studies.
Shameena Titus, 16, a Grade 12 learner, said she had wanted to study medicine and the displays she saw sealed her conviction.
“I look forward with determination to study medicine. At school, we learned a lot of science theory but here I learnt to put those theories into practice. I was further impressed by the variety of experiments at the science centre – they just blew my mind and made me realise this is a field for me,” she said.
Kayline Mouton, 16, from Danville High School in Mafikeng, said she wanted to study engineering.
“I was more impressed by the galaxy, which stoked the inquisitive mind I have always had. I’m convinced astronomy and nuclear engineering will do for me,” she said.
Kayline praised the organisers of the festival, saying the event helped a lot in giving aspiring scientists a glimpse of what the science field had to offer.
Dimpho Moema, 17, said he is now planning to study mechanical engineering after attending the festival.
“I have learnt a lot here, especially about nuclear energy and nanotechnology,” he said.
The NWU, in collaboration with Sleg Consulting, hosted the festival. Exhibitors included, among others, the CSIR, National Zoological Garden, SA Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (Saasta), BMW Eskom and the Independent Development Trust.
The festival was sponsored by the department of Science and Technology and Saasta.
The NWU undertakes initiatives such as these to address the national priority with regard to scarce skills and to encourage learners to further qualify in areas such as mathematics and science.
WIDE-EYED: Learners examine matter through some of the microscopes on display.
Story and picture: Elfas Torerai, The New Age