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UKZN to show off at science event

UKZN Science Centre co-ordinator Dr Tanja Reinhardt experiments with liquid nitrogen. Picture: Supplied

UKZN Science Centre co-ordinator Dr Tanja Reinhardt experiments with liquid nitrogen. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 22, 2023

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Durban - The University of KwaZulu-Natal is bringing back its annual Science Show-Off event aimed at promoting science and technology during the institution’s celebration of National Science Week from July 31 until August 4.

The five-day programme, co-ordinated by the departments of science, engineering and technology at the Westville Campus, will include the university’s top scientists, science centre co-ordinator Dr Tanja Reinhardt and chemistry lecturer Dr Ajay Bissessur, who will demonstrate a number of interactive science experiments.

Science Show-Off will open on July 31 at 5.30pm in the T6 lecture theatre T-Block at the campus.

Activities on the programme include making chemicals concoctions, simulating tsunamis, programming robots, viewing sophisticated microscopy equipment, analysing genetic combinations, and learning about maths, stats and physics.

College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science public relations manager Sally Frost, said the ultimate goal of the event was to encourage people to study science at a tertiary level and increase South Africa’s pool of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

“The event accommodates all members of families who are interested in attending. It is a fun, entertaining and educational evening aimed primarily at instilling love for science in young school children. We also advise parents to accompany them (children) when they attend the programme,” she said.

“We are super excited to be bringing back the event, which was interrupted by the pandemic in 2020. The youngsters will definitely love the number of activities featured on the programme and they will have a lot they can learn,” said Foster.

The latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 confirms that South African schools are performing poorly in maths. At primary school level, South Africa had the third-lowest score out of the 64 countries. In high school, South Africa’s Grade 9 pupils received the second-lowest score out of 39 countries.

“We hope to have 250 guests during the opening. There is no entrance fee and the show is open to everyone,” said Frost.

The Independent on Saturday