Goratileone Oepeng reaches FameLab SA Final!

Image 2023-09-20 at 7.50 AM.jpgWe 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.

Thanks to Kavo R Photography, Blackwoods Nursery, Dr Doshen Naidoo - PMB Paediatrician for generous donations!

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

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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.



Imagine a medical emergency in which a bone is broken so badly that it can’t be repaired. Scientists, engineers and medical experts at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein have developed a solution to deal with just this problem. First, using X-ray technology, the broken bone is 3D modeled – meaning that a computerised version of the bone is created. The shape of a “new bone” is designed on a computer to perfectly replace the broken pieces. Then, this new shape (or implant) is manufactured using advanced manufacture techniques. Surgeons can then remove the pieces of broken bone and replace them with an implant that fits perfectly – allowing the body to heal.

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This content is produced in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology


How does science happen in universities and research labs? Mostly using computers. “How so?” you may ask. When scientists set up an experiment they usually take measurements.

In the past, these would have been recorded on paper – but these days, they are mostly taken by computers. These measurements give scientists the data of the experiment. Computers are instructed to carry out calculations on these measurements. Scientists use coding to tell computers how to do these calculations. With computers, scientists can take a lot more measurements and make many more calculations than they could by hand.

Computer programmes can also be used to predict what happens in an experiment using the laws of science. This is called a simulation or a model. This means that scientists can do ‘experiments’ using computers which can be safer, quicker and cheaper than doing the same experiment in the real world.

Computers can also be used to make images that help us make sense of data and gain new knowledge. Computers are used to make beautiful images from telescopes, for example. This is called data visualization. As scientific experiments get bigger and more complicated like the MeerKAT Radio Astronomy Telescope, scientists need more powerful, faster computers and more elaborate programmes to analyze the data. This is one of the ways that science drives the development of new technologies.

This article was written by The Inter-university Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) who exists to grow skills and expertise in data-intensive research.

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Let's see if you can unscramble these words!

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This content is produced in partnership with The Department of Science and Technology


The safety and security of human life has always been linked to the environment. The Earth provides us with natural resources that humans have used to grow industries and economies. But this growth has put our Earth under a lot of stress! New technologies have the potential to create systems to improve the management of the Earth and her resources. Here are a few ways that the Fourth Industrial Revolution can help our environment:


  • Buildings will become “smart” and environmentally friendly, by reducing water usage as well as decreasing the use of electricity for lighting, heating and cooling.
  • Transport and traffic systems will become more organised, resulting in less carbon emissions and cars that are more environmentally friendly.
  • Technology will allow us to monitor the emission of greenhouse gases more efficiently, making sure that we know and learn ways to reduce these emissions.
  • Bioengineering will allow crops to grow in larger quantities and at a faster rate, while using less land.
  • Biotechnology will help us develop better ways to manage pests and weeds.

Complete the fun word search!

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This content and activity is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology




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