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By 7 August 2014 | Categories: news

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It’s no secret that careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are being vigorously encouraged by governments around the word, for good reason, as those proficient in these areas are seen as being essential to a country’s development.  

With this in mind, and as part of its annual science day, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) hosted 250 high school students at its Pretoria campus.

More auspiciously, it aimed to expose students to science and encourage them to consider it as their potential career, particularly at the CSIR.

Pinda Sifunda, CSIR Human Capital Development (HCD) manager, explained that the centre develops programmes that encourage young people to follow careers in science, engineering and technology. “The CSIR’s HCD – through outreach programmes, bursaries, internships and studentships – aims to realise the potential where bright minds can find the support, interaction and knowledge to help young people interesting science careers to shine even brighter,” she elaborated.

Watch and learn

To this end, the CSIR held a number of demonstrations and exhibitions from units across the organisation, and these were met with enthusiastic feedback from both students and educators.

“I came to the CSIR to learn more about the science field and to interact with peer learners, as well as partake in activities. Fortunately, I was fascinated by the scientific demonstrations that I experienced today,” commented Lesakhanya Zingantho, a Grade 9 learner from Iona Convent School.

Ezra Hove, an educator from Leap High School, commented that they were happy that learners explored and experienced the application of science because in schools they only do basic science.

The future beckons

Dr Rachel Chikwamba, Group Executive: Strategic Alliances and Communication elucidated that the aim of the CSIR was to uplift and develop the quality of life of South Africans.

Addressing the students, she concluded: “Today, I am certain you have realised how science plays a role in our lives. I hope you had the opportunity to experience the technology that we do at the CSIR and that you will walk away today with knowledge of different careers in science.”

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