Goratileone Oepeng reaches FameLab SA Final!
We are so proud to see one of our science club members reach for fame through science!
Goratileone Oepeng grew up near Kuruman in the Northern Cape. He says he has always been curious about the world around him and the way things work. This is why, at school, he started a science club and registered it as a Science Spaza Club. In 2014, he wrote a letter to the Science Space newspaper where he explained just how much the Science Spaza Club meant to him and his friends – and said this is where he learnt to really love science. See below for that letter with Goratileone standing third in the back row:
Now, after almost 10 years, Goratileone's dreams have come true! He is studying an MSc in Entomology at the University of Pretoria. His research is taking a closer look at the link between pheromones and reproductive dominance in honey bee workers. A better understanding could help increase the already dwindling population of the world’s number one pollinators and other social insects that employ pheromones as a means of communication.
But we have even more exciting news … Goratileone was a finalist in the FameLab SA 2023 competition! In this competition, young scientists have three minutes to explain their research to judges in a simple and entertaining way. Goratileone impressed the judges enough to win a regional heat to go through to the semi-finals, and then he competed in the finals on the 21st September. We were also privileged to be able to take two of our Science Clubs through to Pretoria to watch the action.
BIG UPS to Goratileone!
Mandela Day 2023
Fun, Food and Farming for Mandela Day 2023
We headed out along dirt roads and windy tracks in support of our non-profit initiative Science Spaza - bringing together scientists and young people to create positive change.
Jive Director, Prof Albert Modi, a leading expert in crop science and sustainable agriculture, arrived at Swayimane High School near Wartburg with armfuls of seeds, seedlings and fruit trees.
The Jive team soon got busy, along with 67 learners, plus volunteers from a local co-operative, Vukuzithathe, and within half an hour everything was planted.
We also had the opportunity to introduce the learners to Science Spaza, Jive’s network of more than 140 science clubs at schools across the country.
If you’re a scientist looking to share your ideas with the next generation of leaders, look no further than Science Spaza and talk to over 10 000 young people in all 9 provinces of South Africa.
Prof Dlova's Hair and Skin Care Tips
Prof Dlova, Professor of Dermatology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has been giving us super cool and very important tips on hair and skin care!
Click on the links to learn more...
- Full edition of Spaza Space with lots of interesting facts about skin and hair
World Science Forum 2022
The Science Spaza team was at the Department of Science and Innovation's World Science Forum 2022 - the first to be held on the African continent!
The team enjoyed the opportunity to engage with learners and partners around science outreach.
Would you like to work with insects? Insect farming is a growing industry. Developed nations like Japan, the Netherlands and the United States of America are farming insects as mini-livestock because they are an efficient protein source to produce, have high nutrient value and can be used to improve future food security.
South Africa has a rich history of using lots of different edible insects which are considered by many as a cultural delicacy. Advertising has influenced us to perceive insects as disease-carriers and crop destroyers, however, it is important to learn about the positive impact of insects on people’s health and the economy. Insects play a large role in food security and nutrition, pollination, soil enrichment, and the green economy.
Bianca Mkhize has a Masters degree in Tourism and Hospitality. Through the North-West University Bianca is doing a Ph.D. on insect harvesting and opportunities in tourism. Her aim is to increase tourist experiences of insects in the North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa by showing how these insects are known and used traditionally. She hopes that her research can increase revenue in rural, poverty-stricken areas and motivate communities to conserve nature.
There are various career paths in the insect industry. Check them out below:
Entomologists study insects. This is a fascinating field investigating the diversity, life cycles and behavior of insects. Insects produce unique substances such as chemical defense sprays, attractive pheromones (perfumes), dyes, honey, anti-microbial propolis, paper, and wax.
Ecotourism guides link visitors to the environment and to local communities through real-life experiences like collecting insects for food. This type of tourism ensures that people from different places can interact with each other and local people can benefit from sharing their traditional knowledge.
Environmental educators teach people (both children and adults) about sustainable use to ensure that the resource is not depleted. They would encourage farmers not to use harmful pesticides but rather bait pests from their crops. Homeowners can also make a difference by having the insect’s food plants in their garden.
This article was developed in partnership with The North West University and the National Research Foundation
Click on the logos to find out more
This work is based on the research supported by the National Research Foundation. The Grantholder acknowledges that opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in any publication generated by the NRF supported research is that of the author(s), and that the NRF accepts no liability whatsoever in this regard.
Do you love stargazing? Then astronomy might be for you.
Which is the closest planet that can support life?
Or are you “down to earth”? Then you might like to find ways of ensuring food security!
How can we end hunger forever?
Whether your sights are SET on heaven or earth...science, engineering or technology (SET) is a rewarding career choice.
Why science, engineering or technology?
The options are endless. In South Africa, water is scarce and getting scarcer. Everything needs water to survive, and water is a human right. Build your studies and career around making clean water accessible, get your creative juices flowing, and save the country!
Be a computer geek and pursue a career in IT (Information Technology). Your keyboard moves could programme the world of tomorrow!
Distressed about people suffering from diseases? Pursue a career in medicine and help to discover cures no-one has ever thought of!
How about the buzz words - climate change? Are you interested in helping to solve this global problem? Studying what our mothership, Earth, is up to and how she copes with climate change, might make you a famous scientist, and - you could be an earth saver!
If animals and plants are your "thing" – There are millions of species to study, and millions more to discover. Imagine discovering a species that was thought to be extinct. Animal lovers, bird chasers or tree huggers around the world will know your name!
Tired of people complaining about load shedding? Engineers are the ones who will solve our electricity problems in the future!
Gone are the days when scientists were seen as nerds with white coats and thick-rimmed glasses. Engineers are no longer only big men with hard hats, getting their hands dirty! Scientists and engineers are from all walks of life and are not confined by race, gender, wealth, culture or background. Although they work hard, they also play sport, make music, or play computer games to relax. Others write bestselling books that can be understood by anyone. Some start successful businesses or use scientific discovery to change people’s lives.
Did you know that South African scientists and engineers developed a high-tech laser machine, using advanced manufactured material that builds some of the parts that make Airbus fly!
Pursuing a career in science or engineering will make borders invisible. Because scientists and engineers throughout the world communicate with each other and even work together on projects. Scientists and engineers are in short supply all over the world. If you are a high achiever, you can literally go anywhere.
There is a tool on the internet that can help you pursue a successful career in science or engineering. It provides information on bursaries for studying the sciences and all branches of engineering. You’ll also find info on places to study, possible careers, and stories of successful young people like yourself.
So what are you waiting for? Visit us here
Hi guys! Following on from our IR4 edition, we had seen that advances in science and technology have allowed us to improve the tasks that we do in our everyday lives...BUT at what cost?
The side effects of these advancements in science and technology are now beginning to show, and we have to respond...urgently!
This edition of Spaza Space focuses on chemistry and how we use it in our lives. You will also find out more about GREEN CHEMISTRY and how it is transforming our industries.
Download the worksheet resources by clicking on the cover (each worksheet will open in a new tab)
These resources were done in partnership with: