Earlier this month, hundreds of South Africa’s brightest minds made their way to Makhanda (Grahamstown) for the annual Scifest Africa festival. Celebrating its 23rd year, the event was established to promote the public awareness and appreciation of science, technology and innovation (STI) especially among the country’s youth.
This year’s theme ‘Discover your Element’ coincides and celebrates the 150th anniversary of the periodic table’s creation by Dmitry Mendeleev in 1869.
Scifest Africa comprises two components, the National Science Festival as well as the regional and national outreach programmes which take place throughout the year.
One of the key objectives of the festival is to make science and learning accessible to learners from across the country, which is why, since the festival’s inception in 1996, the Rhodes University High School Quiz has formed part of its annual programme, for which RS Components sponsored prizes.
Mellisa Govender, Marketing Director for RS Components South Africa said that supporting education, especially in science, technology and innovation is high on the company’s agenda. “One of the key priorities for RS Components has always been contributing to education and being involved with Scifest Africa is a great opportunity for us to provide the much needed support. Such partnerships are critical towards making a positive impact in ensuring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning is accessible to learners throughout the country and RS Components is proud to be part of this initiative,” added Mellisa.
Annually, Scifest Africa hosts the Rhodes University High School Quiz, where national and provincial high schools participate in preliminary rounds to qualify for the final, which takes place during the week-long festival. Each member of the winning team will win a one-year scholarship to study Science at Rhodes University. This year, RS Components South Africa sponsored a Raspberry Pi Kits for the top performing scholars.
This year’s winners hailed from Port Elizabeth’s Grey High School. Led by their teacher Carla Barclay, pupils Alam Nafi, Jonathan Hughes and Luke Weddell walked away with a full year scholarship to study Science at Rhodes University, which was handed to them by the institution’s Dean of Science, Professor Tony Booth. The boys were also awarded Raspberry Pi products from RS Components South Africa.
The Scifest Africa National Quiz winners from Port Elizabeth’s Grey High School
This article was published in partnership with RS Components.