Putting the fun back into maths and science

2008-08-27 00:00

IF you thought maths and science were boring, the range of fun activities currently taking place at the Royal Agricultural Show Grounds should make you think again.

For the second time in Pietermaritzburg, ScienceUnlimited has opened a door for teenagers to explore varied opportunities in the world of science.

Project director Richard Chernis said the ScienceUnlimited project started seven years ago, with the first five exhibitions taking place in Pretoria, but moved to Pietermaritzburg last year.

He said ScienceUnlimited aims to prove that not only are all fields of science, engineering and technology useful, with new developments taking place on a daily basis, but they can be fun too.

Schools as far away as Empangeni, Pongola, Newcastle, Port Shepstone and High Flats are among the guests expected to attend the show.

Last year, the project received around 10 000 visitors and Chernis hopes to double that number this year.

“Science, engineering and technology offer richly rewarding study, career and entrepreneurial opportunities to young people. We want to encourage our youth to exploit these opportunities and inspire our budding young scientists and their teachers by making them passionate about science.”

They plan to accomplish this by challenging the senses — visitors see, hear, smell, taste and touch their way through over 300 multimedia events planned throughout the four-day event, in addition to about 60 interactive exhibitions.

The exhibition is mounted by five part-timers. Chernis said the project’s biggest challenge is getting sufficient funding.

“This ScienceUnlimited is currently under-funded, which means that we have to cut down in certain areas. That simply means that we can’t subsidise transport for schools like we want to, we can’t advertise and market as planned.”

He said that only 10% of their funding comes from inside KwaZulu-Natal.

Tickets cost R8 per lecture and science show, while entry to the exhibition hall is free.

To book, call 082 4141 401 or visit www.scienceunlimited.co.za

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