HIP2B²: budding scientists gather for iThink challenge

2011-08-11 00:00

TWO local HIP2B² brand ambassadors, Vishaal Singh (16) and Kaylin Samlaal (15), joined other ambassadors in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday to host the KZN leg of the ”hip to be square” iThink Challenge in Durban North yesterday.

The challenge takes place across South Africa with more than 10 000 pupils taking part. Pupils from all over KZN worked on a variety of science- and maths-related tasks, riddles and problems that are presented in a similar format to the hit television series The Amazing Race.

The annual challenge, which took place at Danville Park Girls’ High School, is a key initiative of Mark Shuttleworth’s HIP2B² brand.

It was founded to promote the study of maths, science and technology.

The two ambassadors said the event, which was won by Effingham Secondary School, was a huge success.

Vishaal, a Maritzburg College pupil, said that although they didn’t participate, they enjoyed watching the other students.

He said he is inspired by scientists such as Albert Einstein and Shuttleworth, who became the first African to go into space aboard the Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft that docked with the International Space Station in April 2002.

He believes that young people who study science have a bright future.

Kaylin, of Heather Secondary School, said all young people should be enouraged to study science and technology because they can learn something new every day.

He wants to study microbiology and biotechnology.

“If we don’t commit to improving the skills and expertise of South Africa’s youth we will not be able to strengthen our country’s economy and thereby its ability to sustain itself.”

HIP2B²’s iThink Challenge is a fun event that brings together pupils from across the country in an effort to dispel negative perceptions about maths and science.

“The tasks are thought-provoking and engaging,” said Erna Taljaard of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement.

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