Grahamstown will become the focus of all things scientific, as organisers of Scifest Africa, South Africa’s national science festival, prepare to welcome thousands of local and international visitors from 4-10 May.
With a programme that reads like a multidimensional cosmic adventure, from the tiniest atom to the widest expanse of our Universe, this year’s festival promises to be an event of epic scientific proportions.
This year's event boasts over 600 unique events that will celebrate “Science across cultures” and explore the contribution of different cultures, past and present, to the development of modern science and technology and science education.
Sponsored by Sasol, the Netherlands Embassy, Department of Science and Technology and Old Mutual, Scifest Africa is the largest science festival in sub-Saharan Africa, and the 2011 event will mark 15 years of an event that has inspired a generation.
“We have received so many telephone calls and e-mails of thanks, support and congratulations on this significant achievement,” says Director, Anja Fourie, “but what touches us most is the stories of how Scifest Africa has inspired learners to change their lives or follow a career in science. That hits home and in turn inspires us to keep doing what we do.”
The incredible scope, spectacular sophistication and astounding everyday accessibility of modern science will come alive in this year’s programme. Scifest Africa will also join in celebrations of the International Year of Chemistry by hosting events which celebrate the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind.
There is truly something for everyone, whether you’re an interested novice or the new Einstein. The high-profile lecture series will host some of South Africa and the world’s greatest minds on issues as diverse as biomimicry, the secrets of facial beauty, fracking and the intricacies of rally driving and navigation, while the popular workshop programme will offer visitors a hands-on opportunity to explore the mathematics of Zulu beadwork designs, micro-rockets, origami, vegetable gardening, prehistoric paint-making, biotechnology, and weather in motion.
Inspiring a love of science and mathematics from a young age remains central to the festival’s vision, hence the ongoing focus to make Scifest a gloriously entertaining and interesting experience for learners of all ages!
Here the programme explodes into a fantastic array of options like the Afrobot Robotics Tournament, educational theatre, the AMESA Interschool Mathematics Relay, chocolate-making workshops, Popular Mechanics Soap Box Derby, laser show and Speed-Date-a-Scientist Series. The Grahamstown community is also invited to participate in the new Murder Mystery, Living Maths Sleepover and Science Café events, and to show visiting academics a thing or two in Quiz Nite.
With so many fantastic activities available, national interest is rapidly burgeoning, and tickets are selling fast with over 105 events already sold out. Download your electronic programme online at www.scifest.org.za and contact 046 603 1106 for bookings.