Whiz, bang, pop: UCT takes science to the community

29 March 2012 | Story by Newsroom

studentsHands-on: Learners were captivated by the art of science at the recent UCT Science Day.

The dazzle of chemical reactions, DNA profiling, explosion displays, big bangs and colour changes, marked this year's UCT Science Day - all to lure high school learners to pursue careers in science.

As if that was not enough, master's graduate in chemistry from UCT and current PhD student in chemical engineering, Umraan Hendricks, an alumnus of the host school, Trafalgar High School in Zonnebloem, Cape Town, motivated learners by giving a personal account on how he followed his passion in science.

The event, the sixth of its kind, was hosted by the Faculty of Science in conjunction with the , iThemba LABS, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the South African Astronomical Observatory, , Cape Town Science Centre, Career Planet and the South African Weather Service. The aim, according to Katherine Wilson, the faculty's communication and marketing manager, was to take science to the community, and inspire learners to do well in maths and science, providing good grounding for careers in science.

The science faculty's Associate Professor David Gammon spoke of the shortage of scientists in South Africa and highlighted the role of science in people's lives, from developing vaccines and finding cures for diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS, to exploring fresh water sources and developing new technology.

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