National Science Week

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August 29, 2018
Annual Telescope & Astronomy Expo
September 13, 2018
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National Science Week

National Science Week

National Science Week is an annual initiative of the department of Science and Technology (DST) together with the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA). National Science Week is a nationwide celebration of science, with the primary goal of contributing to the development of a society that is knowledgeable about science, critically engaged and scientifically literate! The countrywide celebration of science is coordinated by NRF/SAASTA and takes place simultaneously at various sites, on all 9 provinces.

Each year a new theme was chosen and hosts were expected to organize activities around the overarching theme. This year, the theme for the National Science Week 2018 was “Deepening Our Democracy through Science” in celebration of the centenary and the legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

This year National Science Week festivities will take place between the 28th of July 2018 and 4th of August 2018.  Nelson Mandela University’s prelaunch activities will kick start on the 18th of July, on the centenary celebration of Nelson Mandela, with a symposium on this year’s National Science Week theme of “Deepening our Democracy through Science”.


National Science Week (NSW), an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), is a countrywide celebration of STEMI involving various stakeholders and/or role players conducting STEMI activities during the declared week.  NSW takes place simultaneously in multiple sites in all the nine provinces.

NRF/SAASTA has been appointed by the DST as the implementing agency and play the role of coordinating and managing activities pertaining to the project.

Each year a different theme is chosen and activities are offered around these themes to the target participants. The NSW is a mass participation initiative within the context of the Science Engagement Strategy and its objectives are the following:

  • To popularize science to the broader South African society,
  • To serve as a vehicle for showcasing local innovations in science and technology, and the leadership role of the DST and other government departments in enabling research, development and innovation,
  • To make Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) appealing to learners, such that they consider STEMI as preferable career options, and
  • To familiarise targeted participants with the science linked to areas in which South Africa has knowledge and/or geographic advantage to contribute in making them informed and critically engaged citizens.

The aim of STEMI activities is to:

  • Popularise STEMI as attractive, stimulating, exciting and relevant to daily life to the benefit of all sections of the population.
  • Use STEMI as a recreational tool, and communicating STEMI through in arts in ways including but not limited to games, science jokes, concerts, musical genres and sky viewing.
  • Create awareness of astronomy, marine sciences, palaeoscience, space science and technology, indigenous knowledge systems, biodiversity, biotechnology, energy.
  • Create platforms and opportunities for the public to understand the role of social sciences and the impact of STEMI in people’s life.
  • Stimulate interest in and create awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, including STEM research careers.
  • Create platforms and opportunities for the non-scientific community to engage with the scientific community.  Such engagements could be through seminars, workshops, lectures, science cafés, debates etc. and/or using online means and relevant media platforms.
  • Create space for budding scientists within the schooling and university systems to showcase their STEMI projects to their peers and the general public.
  • Demonstrate the contribution of STEMI to sustainable development and improved quality of life.  These will include, but are not limited to, the protection of the South African biodiversity heritage.
  • The understanding and management of the possible consequences of climate change and environmental degradation.
  • The way in which STEMI enhances the key sectors of the South African economy, namely, manufacturing, retail, financial services, communications, mining, agriculture and tourism.
  • The contribution of STEMI to citizens’ right to education, a clean environment, access to health care, food and water, social security, as well as safety and security.
  • Contribution of STEMI to solving the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
  • Create awareness of the South African inventions and discoveries that changed the world.


Check out our gallery and browse through some of the exciting activities that took place around Pretoria.




Brain waves development is excited to be one of the two organisations that have been selected to receive a telescope donated by Jean-Pierre Grootaerd,the founder of Stars’ shine for everyone (Sterren Schitteren Voor Iedereen) in partnership with scopeX  through their ScopeX 2018 SSVI project.

The focus of the project was to find suitable homes for two telescopes which would be used for the benefit of young people.

BRESSER has donated two telescopes and their mounts will be made by the ATM group from the Public Observatory Armand Pien in Ghent together with the Department of physics and Astronomy of Ghent University.

The formal handing over of the telescope will take place at the ScopeX annual telescope and astronomy expo on the 15thod September 2018 at the Military History Museum.





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