Pretoria - Learners from township and rural schools were yesterday exposed to various opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) annual career day.
The learners attended the event and got to experience different types of careers that were exhibited.
One learner said they had learned that science had many employment opportunities and wanted to become a doctor.
“I know it is not going to be easy, but I need to work hard and get perfect marks to get in.
“Even the doctors that spoke to us today told us that it was not an easy journey,” the learner said.
Another learner said they were exposed to different career paths that they did not know existed.
“We were told about opportunities and bursaries that we can use to make our dreams a reality,” the learner said.
Ghaneshree Moonsamy, principal researcher at the CSIR, highlighted the importance of exposing and creating awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).
“We wanted to create exposure to learners and general public and to inspire them to start careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “To share insights and personal journeys in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“This is to also open up the council and let learners know what is out there and the opportunities in the industry,” said Moonsamy.
“As the council we have realised the importance of exposure, giving learners from disadvantaged areas that have not been in the science space. Where they do not have laboratories and cannot do their own experiments.
“We just want to share with them our personal experiences and how we have made careers in science a success,” she said.They wanted people to stick to science and maths and not shy away from it because it was deemed too difficult.
She said she hoped that it would inspire the next generation of scientists to be able not to only further their studies and find jobs, but to be able to make a difference in the country.
Moonsamy said there had not been an influx of students migrating towards science.
“It is the awareness, understanding and for people to have the comfort in knowing what they are going to study for.
“If you look at maths, law and people that want to become chartered accountants, they either know someone that is in that field and have heard of the career somewhere. They know more about it than they do about science,” she said.
Moonsamy said careers were always changing in the science and technology space. “We want to be able to create awareness and exposure. Maybe by having more of these events and highlighting national science week we can actually create the hype and vibe about sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said.
Researcher Dr Advaita Singh said he really wanted to inspire the learners using his academic journey to make an impact in South Africa.