Students aim for top

2018-03-14 06:02
Sylvia Mokuoane, a student at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, and Emmie Chiyindiko, a student at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein campus, won prizes in the FameLab science competition held on 20 and 21 February. With them are the panel of judges and the management of the two institutions. From the left are Refilwe Moleyane (judge, academic exchange coordinator: international office), Mamosa Makaya (judge, deputy director: communications at the UFS), Mokuoane, Prof. Alfred Ngowi (deputy vice-chancellor: research innovation and engagement), Dr. Vanessa Agbedahin (UFS: Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development) and Chiyindiko. Photo: Supplied

Sylvia Mokuoane, a student at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, and Emmie Chiyindiko, a student at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Bloemfontein campus, won prizes in the FameLab science competition held on 20 and 21 February. With them are the panel of judges and the management of the two institutions. From the left are Refilwe Moleyane (judge, academic exchange coordinator: international office), Mamosa Makaya (judge, deputy director: communications at the UFS), Mokuoane, Prof. Alfred Ngowi (deputy vice-chancellor: research innovation and engagement), Dr. Vanessa Agbedahin (UFS: Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development) and Chiyindiko. Photo: Supplied

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Science savvy students Sylvia Mo­kuoane and Emmie Chiyindiko eye the top prize in the FameLab competition, one of the biggest science communication competitions.

They are semi-finalists from a group of 18 contes­tants who took part in the event held on 20 and 21 February at the Central University of Technology’s (CUT) campus in Bloemfontein.

Mokuoane, doing her masters in Radiography at CUT, and Chiyindiko, doing her masters in Chemistry at the University of the Free State (UFS), were voted tops by a panel of judges. Only students from the UFS and CUT competed against each other.

In April Mokuoane and Chiyindiko will compete against each other for the top prize. The winner will get an opportunity to attend a science communication master class which will be presented by an international FameLab accredited trainer.

As semi-finalists, they will be awarded book vouchers to the value of R500 and stand a chance to win R5 000 or R2 500 if they become runners-up at national level.

The national overall winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to participate in the international Famelab competition in June 2018.

“FameLab is one of the biggest science communication competitions globally where young scientists get the opportunity to present scientific concepts to the general audience in three minutes.

“In South Africa, the competition is led by the British Council, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (Saasta) and Jive Media Africa,” said Dan Maritz, CUT spokesperson.

He said young scientists and researchers get the opportunity to develop their communications and presentations skills.

Joanne Riley, science editor in the science communication unit at Saasta, said the competition has a great impact on universities, staff and students.

“The impact is that it enhances research, teaching and learning. It also assists universities to demonstrate accountability and strengthens brand visibility and identity. It also sensitises students to social and ethical issues while it motivates them to engage with the wider public, and augments their experiences and confidence level,” she said.

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