By Emily Setona
QWAQWA –The Department of Basic Education has partnered with Eskom Expo for Young Scientists to ignite the love of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) subjects in the children of previously disadvantaged communities. This event was held this Saturday, March 5 at the Witsieshoek Primary School.
Nicho Swartz is the Eskom Expo’s Provincial coordinator for the Free State.
While speaking to The Guard Swartz stated that the Eskom Expo has been around for 41 years and that it is their current mandate to give access to learners from previously disadvantaged communities such as schools under the Thabo Mofutsanyana Education Department (TMED).
Nkosana Kheswa a senior education specialist in natural science and technology from TMED said; “Today’s event is about bringing the Eskom Expo to the primary school children of Qwaqwa, so that they are given an opportunity to register and participate in this year’s Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. As well as to promote their interest in STEMI subjects.”
Swartz and Kheswa partnered with Lekgabe Dihlabi founder of Kgabsy Science Communication Network to make this event a success.
Dihlabi is a community leader with a Science degree who is very passionate about sharing her love for STEMI subjects with young people. “Our children are at a disadvantage because of many known reasons, so when Nicho entrusted me with the duty to make primary school kids eager to participate in the science Expo, I couldn’t say no,” Dihlabi said. Witsieshoek primary School offered their hall and hosted 13 schools with 54 learners in attendance with their teachers there for support.
Tharollo Moloi a learner from Paballong Primary school had this to say about the day; “I learnt a lot and everything was amazing, I was able to think about the type of innovative project that I would like to invent.”
“Eskom Expo would like to promote research and innovation in the STEMI subjects and we are focusing on the rural learner. Participating in the science expo is but a small part of this important task,” Swartz said.