City gets set for SciFest
South Africa’s National Science Festival, Scifest Africa, will be celebrating its 22nd anniversary event from 7-13 March in Grahamstown.
Established by the Grahamstown Foundation in 1996 to promote the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation in South Africa, Scifest's theme for 2018 is “Innovation 4.0”, with reference to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which attributes technology advancement and transformation.
Sciifest said they encouraged participating organisations to think artificial intelligence, 3D printing, nanotechnology, digital, quantum computing and the unlimited possibilities of emerging technology breakthroughs.
In 2017, Scifest Africa attracted more than 62 000 visitors and offered 58 exhibitions and 726 events, presented by 291 contributors from 75 organisations in South Africa and the international STI sector.
The national science festival received media coverage to the value of R4.1 million from 1 January-31 March 2017.
Scifest Africa identifies and designs unique interactive events and educational resources with scientific integrity to advance science, facilitate learning in an informal and non-threatening way, and provide learners with an opportunity to discover science outside the classroom.
Their programme includes lecturers and young researchers from South Africa and abroad who will be sharing their wealth of knowledge with us. Among them are Mintek geologist and 2017 FameLab International winner Tshiamo Legoale, Dr Tiisetso Lephoto from Wits University who is one of the youngest PhD Graduates in the field of cell and molecular biology, Dr Jeanita Pritchard from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other exceptional women in STEM experts.
Professor Mike Bruton, author of the newly released book What a great idea! Awesome South African inventions will be giving a talk as well as Professor Petri Vaisanen from the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) will also be contributing to the lecture programme.
Exhibitions and workshops include a virtual tour of NASA’s Robotics Lab with Jim Adams, SAASTA’s insightful ‘Wonders of Nanotech’ and more exciting workshops with a Scifest favourite, Dr Stephen Ashworth. All interactive events that are not classified as exhibitions, lectures and workshops fall un- der our Etcetera section of our official programme.
With continued support from the Department of Science and Technology, the festival makes science accessible to the public, encourag- ing parents and schools from across the country to bring learners to the event.
Scifest Africa provides a platform for leading scientists, both locally and globally, to engage with the youth and inspire them to embark on careers in science and become leaders in these fields.
The electronic programme will be available at www.scifest.org.za from 5 February.
Pupils in awe at the Iziko Museums exhibit at Scifest 2017. This year's event promises an array of exciting activities and exhibits.