NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK 2022: CELEBRATING THE ROLE OF BASIC SCIENCES

By: Puleng Maphisa 08 August 2022

Suncrest High School with the exhibitors

The Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) Health Sciences and Chemistry department participated in a National Science Week (NSW) event and exhibition which took place between 01-05 August at the foyer of the Desmond Tutu Great Hall, Vanderbijlpark campus.

The aim of the week-long event was to display the science prowess at VUT as well as inspire young people to take up studies and careers in different fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Two external companies, Arcelo Mittal and Rand Water were among the exhibitors.  Internal stakeholders included Student Recruitment, Non-Destructive Testing, Biomedical health science, Biotechnology, French South African Schneider Electric Education Centre (F’SASEC) and the Chemistry Department

Invitations were extended to locals resulting in lots of interaction and engagement between presenters and learners.

 Zinhle Tshabalala

Zinhle Tshabalala, a Grade 12 learner from Sun Crest High School was highly fascinated by what was displayed in the exhibition stands.  “I love health sciences and now through this exhibition I got exposed to Biomedical technology and hearing what it is, I think it is very cool and I would love to study it,” she said excitedly.

According to Zinhle, “science is the building block of life. It is our daily lifestyle, how we breathe, and how we preserve food.”

What motivated Zinhle and other learners was Ms Carol Motale, a VUT Health Science lecturer who thoroughly explained Biomedical Technology’s role.  She explained the types of antibiotics that were discovered by scientists and are being used today to cure many sicknesses. Motale also told learners that “it is not only about studying, but also learning to do research that will help the country or prevent many infections that may occur.”

Motale was joined by her colleagues, Dr Kgomotso Mtshatsheni, Biotechnology and Chemistry lecturer, and Dr Winny Maboya, Chemistry lecturer.  Prof Joe Modise, Head of the Department of Biotechnology and Chemistry department also came through to greet the learners and wish them a prosperous day.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has declared the first week of August as National Science Week (NSW). The objective is to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEMI) and to promote general awareness of the value of STEM in people’s daily lives. This year’s theme was celebrating the role of basic sciences. 

NSW is an annual event involving various stakeholders, role players and interest groups collectively conducting STEMI activities. It runs in all nine provinces simultaneously at multiple sites per province.