By Staff Reporter
Cape Town – A free, action-packed virtual science festival from today until September 4 will help lift the spirits of children and invigorate minds.
The Sakhikamva Foundation Science Festival offers 20 inspiring shows and STEM workshops for learners of different age groups, which will connect South African children, teachers and parents to the global science community.
From building apps to designing drones, from aviation to robotics and much more, the workshops will be fun and interactive with lots of prizes to be won.
According to the organisers, the festival highlights the joy of discovery, of following your curiosity and unlocking the mysteries of our world through science, technology, engineering and maths, with the US-based Ronnie Thomas from Fun Weird Science, SA’s Steve Sherman from Living Maths and Australian Dr Graham Walker, among others.
On Friday, the opening event by veteran NASA astronaut Nicole Stott who will be live-streamed from Florida, US.
Attendance for this once-in-a-lifetime close encounter with a space traveller can be booked by visiting the Sakhikamva Foundation website.
Thanks to a sponsorship from Tata Consultancy Services, participating in the festival is free for all, and there are various strategies in place to help schools, parents and teachers with data issues to still access the virtual festival programme.
Grade 7 to 12 learners are invited to attend the entertaining Mathemagical shows with Sherman, the chief imagination officer of Living Maths.
Grade 5 to 8 learners will be unforgettably wowed by America’s science guy, Ronnie Thomas of Fun Weird Science, a showcase of the Georgia Science and Robotics Academy.
Fun STEM events such as the MathArt Workshop and the Tower Challenge are ideal for parents to get involved with their kids; or for teachers to use as inspiring lessons.
The festival opens up unique opportunities for SA kids to participate in exciting global STEM projects:
On 24 August, 500 South African learners from grades 7 to 12 will be able to join a Magnitude.io team in San Francisco for the launch of a high altitude balloon over San Francisco Bay. Learners will be part of a global team tracking the balloon and connecting on a WhatsApp platform as it finds its way across the globe.
On 28 August, 500 Grade 7 to 10 learners will connect to the ExoLab experiment which connects children from around the world with scientists working on the International Space Station (ISS). During this festival workshop, learners with meet international scientists who have conducted plant experiments on the ISS.
Families can also join the Science Show-Off live stream with Dr Graham Walker of the Australian National University who, live from his home lab (aka his spare room), performs experiments you can try at home – from vacuum-cleaner marshmallow cannons to gravity-defying water – and lots you definitely should not.
There will be liquid nitrogen, explosions and much more!
The Sakhikamva Foundation was established by forensic scientist and airline pilot Fatima Jakoet to promote awareness of the aerospace industry through STEM learning projects.
Through a variety of programmes at schools and the world’s first STREAM Laboratory facility, Sakhikamva Foundation connects children to STEM subjects through fun, hands-on, immersive learning.
“We’re delighted to launch the Science Festival and open up opportunities for SA kids,” says Jakoet.
“We have such exciting partners on board and an incredibly stimulating programme over the two weeks.’’