People 'n' Issues

Calling Soweto science fans

January 28th, 2016
Brainiacs from Soweto will get a chance to discover how space scientists, robotics experts and radio astronomists solve some of the world's biggest problems and mysteries this Saturday during a STEM Community Day.
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The day is hosted by the P-STEM Foundation, a South African Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) advocacy organisation founded to promote STEM education, careers and entrepreneurship and is co-sponsored by EMC Corporation, a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Exhibitors the likes of Red Bull Amaphiko STEM innovators, HartRAO Planetarium and EMC will be demonstrating the best the field has to offer.

Jonas Bogoshi, Country Manager for EMC Southern Africa, said the P-STEM community day offers a unique opportunity to engage grassroots communities with top-level science opportunities.

“It is a privilege to be in a position to build South Africa’s future capacity in these crucial fields. We are a nation of amazing problem solvers, and community days like these help inspire young minds to jump out of the box.”

Visitors can help solve interesting puzzles, interact with scientists, learn how robots work, and even do robotic programming themselves.

Additional resources will be on offer at the STEM Resource Centre and the Siyafunda Download Centre. Role models involved in the organisation’s work will likewise be present to interact with visitors.

Taking kids from STEM ignorance to STEM excellence

P-STEM has already started with the roll-out of a series of school talks that will continue into 2016.  This will be supplemented by community days, after school programmes, bootcamps and role modelling.

Emma Mahlo, STEM Programmes Administrator, today said that in the midst of an immense STEM skills shortage and unprecedented youth unemployment, community days like this one go a long way to create awareness

“We want to remind South African kids that they can be the changemakers who make the world a better, more sustainable place to live in. Our target is therefore to get 30% of learners who attend our talks and events signed up for our after school programmes.

“For most, our events are the very first time they encounter STEM and what it stands for. We plan to not only build interest, but also develop their skills and confidence in this field and remove obstacles in the way of filling the country’s skills shortage.

“STEM is fun and engaging. And with the live experiments and demos at the stands of our After School Programme we will be inspiring young minds to help solve the mysteries of the universe and the big issues facing our world.”

Date: 30 January 2016

Venue: No 671 Tshianda Street, Soweto. (Just off Chris Hani Rd/ Old Potchefstroom Road)

For enquiries, contact Emma Mahlo, 011 0339780

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