Celebrating Young Scientists

Celebrating Young Scientists

The Idea 2 Product Lab with learners at the Deutsche International Schule Johannesburg’s National Science Week.

Selina Rapulane

The Vaal University of Technology’s Idea to Product (I2P) Lab was part of the Science Week held at the Deutsche Internationale Schule campuses in Pretoria and Johannesburg from 28 May to 6 June.

The opening ceremony in Pretoria was facilitated by Mrs Anne Waldek-Thill: Founder and Organiser of Deutsche Schule Science Week 2018.

The opening ceremony was attended by some of the stakeholders who made the events possible. The first speaker was Mr Martin Schaefer: German Ambassador, followed by Dr Markus Thill: Managing Director at Bosch and then Mr Philip Rose: Founder and Presenter of SciTech. They all mentioned looking forward to being involved with young, curious and ambitious learners.

Dr Thill mentioned that the world needs more scientists and the importance of the Science Week is to provide interest and knowledge on the subject matter.

“This week is about three things; observing, analysing and asking questions. And I believe you are all scientists because you all do these three things,” said Mr Rose during his address to officially open the science week.

Mr Schaefer thanked all those involved, both here and in Germany. “I thank all those who have come on board to make this possible. I wish you all a wonderful science week. Let us all make this a wonderful experience,” he concluded.

The I2P Lab team had an exhibition area as well as a training centre to which learners from different grades flocked to learn about the basics of 3D Printing. As 3D printing is at the forefront of a variety of sectors from dentistry and biomedical, to aerospace and automotive; this platform was beneficial to both the learners and stakeholders.

The team, using entry level additive manufacturing, provided skills development and training in product development with basic 3D computer aided design (CAD) and printing.

During the programme, learners were introduced to aspects of science that helped them better understand the world around them. They explored a variety of scientific topics and also got a chance to enquire about the science behind the exciting demonstrations they observed.

A panel discussion was also hosted and facilitated by Mr Thomas Bachmeier: Deutsche Schule Johannesburg Principal. The discussion was based on the link between education and the industry. It was an opportunity to look at how science week can be taken further and how the industry and education sectors can collaborate.

There was much discussion on engaging companies to assist schools and how to respond to such initiatives. Speakers took turns to share their own views on ways in which companies can contribute to child learning and youth employment.

It was concluded that science week is about creating a platform for learners, educators and the industry to build a better learner environment for the future.

“The programme went really well and it was well organised. The different sponsors really played their part as the learners were engaged and took part in experiments and asked questions. Fifty companies took part in this programme and I am thankful to the financial sponsorships and those providing to the programme in kind,” said Mrs WaldekThill.

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