Wits University took part in National Science Week with a packed week long programme that showcased the University’s cutting edge science and technology research.
National Science Week (NSW) is the flagship annual event of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) inaugurated in 2000.
NSW is a countrywide celebration of science involving various stakeholders conducting science-based activities during the week. NSW is run in all nine provinces simultaneously at multiple sites per province.
The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) has been appointed by the DST as the implementing agency and has the role of national project manager for NSW. SAATSA aims to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering and technology in South Africa. SAASTA is a business unit of the National Research Foundation.
Higher education institutions, schools, science and research centres, government departments, non-governmental organisations and science councils will be participating in NSW.
NSW has a different theme and sub-theme each year and participating entities are encouraged to build and package their activities around these themes for target audiences.
NSW has four objectives:
– To popularise science to the broader South African society;
– To serve as a vehicle for showcasing local innovations in science and technology, and the leadership role of the DST and other government departments in enabling research, development and innovation;
– To make science, engineering, mathematics and innovation appealing to learners, such that they would consider SET as preferable career options;
– To familiarise targeted participants with the science linked to areas in which South Africa has knowledge and/or geographic advantage so as to contribute in making them informed and critically engaged citizens.
The theme for NSW 2013 is Celebrating scientific areas in which South Africa has a competitive edge. With a sub-theme titled International year of water cooperation. The objective of the year is to raise awareness of both the potential for increased cooperation and the challenges facing water management in the context of greater demand for water access, allocation, and services.
This year the focus was on astronomy; mathematics; indigenous knowledge; marine sciences; palaeontology; and South African inventions.
[Photos by Tendai Joe, Loftus Digital Group]