UWC launches National Science Week 2016
“South Africa has come a long way, but we need both thinkers and doers to go further. We need people who are willing to find new knowledge, to test what we have always thought to be true, and to find a way to deal with the many challenges facing our increasingly globalised world.”
So said University of the Western Cape (UWC) Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, speaking at the launch of National Science Week 2016, hosted at UWC on Saturday, 6 August 2016.
National Science Week is an annual event aimed at celebrating the role that science, mathematics, engineering and technology play in everyday life, and encourages more young people to follow careers in these fields.
Prof Pretorius added that science and technology are vital drivers of human progress, vital to confronting issues like global climate change, poverty and scarce resources. In the face of these complexities, UWC has opted to position itself as an “engaged university” - a nexus of research, teaching and learning.
“As an institution we have always stressed the importance of Science and its contribution to our country and economy, and to global collaborations and progress,” he noted.
Addressing an audience of over 3000 learners from across the Western Cape, NSW launch keynote speaker and Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, announced the "NextGen100" initiative which will help young innovators transform their innovative ideas into business ventures in the country.
"I am pleased today to launch this great initiative called “NextGen100” which will help the young to start their businesses in the technology field,” she said. “We need to harness the innovative spirit of young people in addressing our development challenges."
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille noted that South African know-how and research capacity is involved in mega scientific projects like the construction of the Square Kilometre Array. The Premier told learners that they are growing up in an exciting time and they must make use of it, as they are the next generation of knowledge workers - the leaders and scientists who will guide South Africa’s development.
The NSW launch at UWC comes after the Science Learning Centre for Africa programme, under the leadership of Professor Shaheed Hartley and in partnership with the Garden City Archway Foundation, donated three new science labs to Inkwenkwezi High, Forest Heights High School and Sithembele Matiso.