The demand for Scifest Africa to take science to learners, educators and communities who cannot afford to attend the festival, or who find themselves in areas where resources and educator support is poorest, continues to grow.

DST/NRF/SAASTA ASTRO QUIZ

Astro Quiz, a national quiz competition for Grade 7 learners, aims to improve the teaching and learning of basic astronomy in primary schools. The quiz is funded and coordinated by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) and implemented by centres around the country. Scifest Africa established centres which includes the Cradock Educational District, East London Educational District, and Grahamstown Educational District.

DST/NRF/SAASTA OPEN DAYS

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has four focus areas, namely African Origins, Antarctica, Astronomy and Biosciences selected because of South Africa’s geographical and local advantage within the area. This is to promote awareness and develop knowledge generation capacity, and human capital in these areas. Scifest Africa supports SAASTA by presenting interactive activities at Open Days funded and coordinated by SAASTA to promote awareness in these areas.

DST/NRF/SAASTA NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK

National Science Week is a countrywide celebration of science initiated in 2000 by the Department of Science and Technology and involves various stakeholders conducting science activities at multiple sites in all nine provinces simultaneously during one week of the year.

Scifest Africa implements a variety of interactive activities in the Grahamstown Educational District, as well as districts in other provinces on behalf of other National Science Week grantholders.

ESKOM EXPO FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS

The Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is South Africa’s is the prestigious and only existing international science fair that affords learners the opportunity to enter a project to exhibit their own scientific investigation. The project aims to inspire and develop young scientists who are able to identify a problem, analyse information, find solutions and communicate findings effectively.

Learners must first enter a project into one of 32 regional finals held between July and September every year, then a select few are chosen to participate at the International Science Fair in Pretoria, Gauteng in early October.

The Grahamstown Region of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is planned and implemented by Scifest Africa and sponsored by Rhodes University, whose generous sponsorship includes first-year bursaries to study science at Rhodes University for the learners entering the top five projects. 

This year (2016), the Grahamstown Regional Final will be held on Saturday, 30 July at the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building at Rhodes University. 

SCIFEST AFRICA REGIONAL FESTIVALS

The Scifest Africa Regional Festivals were launched in 2008 to take a selection of the best programme items of the National Science Festival to learners and educators in the Eastern Cape who could not afford to travel to Grahamstown for the festival. The pilot project, sponsored by the Embassy of Finland, saw two three-day Regional Festivals, organised in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Department of Education, held in the Mthatha Educational District and the Cradock Educational District respectively.

The model has since been developed as part of other Scifest Africa outreach programmes, which has allowed Scifest Africa to develop best practice in the development, planning, coordination, implementation and evaluation of outreach programmes in disadvantaged schools and communities.

Regional Festivals are held over three to five days, in educational districts selected by the provincial Department of Education, and reach 112 learners and eight educators from eight schools per day. Content is developed or sourced based on the needs of educators and learners in the host district and include science club and career guidance resource material.

For more information about our outreach projects contact outreach[at]scifest.org.za or scifest.outreach[at]gmail.com.

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Department of Science SAASTA Grahamstown Foundation