The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), in collaboration with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Association for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (ASTEMI) Olympiads and Competitions will tomorrow host a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEMI) Olympiads and Competitions Community of Practice (CoP) biennial virtual conference for the first time. The conference will end on 22 July 2021.
Address by the minister
Deputy Minister of higher education, science and innovation, Mr Buti Manamela, will deliver the opening address to the august event to be held under the theme: “Strengthening the impact of Olympiads and Competitions through collaborations, partnerships, and co-operative opportunities”.
According to SAASTA’s media statement, the biennial conference aims to foster collaboration and conversations among stakeholders from all levels of the STEMI community. These include government departments, science councils, science centres, professional bodies, NGOs, Olympiad and competitions organisers and educators.
Purpose of the conference
Mr Moloko Matlala, SAASTA’s science education division manager, said the purpose of the STEMI CoP conference is to further promote the advancement of STEMI Olympiads and Competitions in South Africa by creating a community of practice where the best practices are identified and benchmarked.
Facilitating development of tools
In addition, the conference will provide a platform for diverse voices and multiple perspectives, said SAASTA, to engage in dialogue that will produce a wide range of innovative ideas. These are intended to facilitate the development of tools to improve the connection between science and society, as well as to positively contribute towards problem-solving around issues concerning STEMI education in South Africa, said the statement.
Inculcating culture of learning
Education does not only happen in formal classroom settings. Consequently this conference explores the experiences of Olympiads and competition as part of informal learning for the learners. The ASTEMI community seeks to inculcate this culture of learning.
Speakers will present research papers with a view to facilitating dialogue, the sharing of knowledge and expertise as well promoting best practices for more meaningful informal educational experiences for all South African learners.
The panelists for the conference include the following speakers:
- Dr Kristof Fenyvesi (Researcher of STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths and founder of Global STEAM network, Finnish Institute of Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
- Dr Derek Fish (Director, UniZulu Science Centre)
- Dr David Johnson (Adjunct Senior Lecturer, ICT4D, Computer Science Department, University of Cape Town) and
- Dr Mmaki Jantjies (Head of Innovation Telkom, previously from University of Western Cape).
To view the programme click on the link below:
To register for the webinars click on the link below: