Zululand Science Festival 2017: Celebrating “Africanology”

Dr. Tanja Reinhardt from UKZN heats things up

By Derek Fish

Unizulu Science Centre (USC) presented Zulfest for the third year running, from 22 – 27 May. Contributors from all over South Africa (and the world) highlighted areas of science where South Africans can be proud, to over 5000 excited visitors.

Nolwazi makes science real to shoppers

Events took place at the USC, at the Boardwalk Inkwazi Shopping Mall, at seven different schools and some restaurants. For the first time this year the festival received generous funding from the Department of Science and Technology, via SAASTA.

Mark Sampson, comedian and eco-warrior delighted the crowds in Mtunzini with his hilarious presentation: “Africa Clockwise”, chronicling his trip around Africa with his family in a truck which ran on cooking oil and solar power. Prof Mike Bruton provided fascinating details of “Great South African Inventions” from the two books he has published. Scientists from the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the SA National Space Agency showed that SA has not lagged behind in the space race. Engineers and artisans from Bell Equipment presented the amazing story of local innovation which has made their company a world player.

Mark Sampson delights his Mtunzini audience

On the international front, volunteers from the Japanese International Collaboration Agency (JICA) and the US Peace Corps presented a variety of programmes from robotics to HIV/Aids education.

Riaan from Reptile City ensured the crowds were awake with an array of snakes and crocodiles while Living Maths, UNISA, UNW, Sci-Bono and UKZN SC filled the other slots.

Presentations on indigenous knowledge provided a fascinating history of innovation in this area.

Anyone unfortunate enough to have missed the excitement (or stimulated by it for more) can contact the USC on 035-7973204 to organise a visit.

Excited learners from Dlangezwa High School celebrate Zulfest with Chris Harris of the US Peace Corps.
The Students’ Council gets to grips with science

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