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SciFest 2012 – Science rocks!


SAEON’s Thomas Mtontsi (left) uses the Magic Planet to give learners a fascinating glimpse into Earth systems science (Picture: Sibongile Mokoena)


The SAEON stand elicited interest from learners, educators and the general public (Picture: Sibongile Mokoena)


UCT student Xolisa Dlomo (right) responds to a question from an interested learner (Picture: Sibongile Mokoena)


SAEON’s Sibongile Mokoena (left) with representatives from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa (Picture: Thomas Mtontsi)

Sibongile Mokoena, Education Outreach Coordinator, SAEON

The SAEON stand was abuzz with activity at SciFest 2012, which was held in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape in March this year.

Scifest Africa is South Africa's National Science Festival, which aims to promote public awareness and engagement with science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation.

The theme for Scifest Africa 2012, "Science rocks!", encouraged visitors to explore the Earth sciences, archaeology, palaeontology, astrobiology, GIS, chemical and civil engineering and … music.

Derek Hanekom, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, officially opened the SciFest proceedings. Minister Hanekom is passionate about young people and science and emphasised the significance of SciFest on South Africa’s science awareness calendar.

Magic Planet

Thomas Mtontsi, Education Outreach Officer at the SAEON Egagasini Node and the Magic Planet never fail to bring the Earth systems vividly to life for the curious learners, teachers and other visitors to SciFest.

Three students from the University of Cape Town’s Oceanography department, Xolisa Dlomo, Marcel du Plessis and Jennifer Butler formed part of the SAEON team. They brought valuable inputs and motivation to the learners.

Nozi Hambaze, Education Outreach Offer of the SAEON Elwandle Node ran a series of workshops for the duration of SciFest which were always fully booked. Nozi was ably assisted by the UCT students.

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