With a view of igniting a passion for science in township pupils, a company which supplies laboratory equipment hosted the “Love Science Expo” at Manyano High School last week.
The aim of the expo was to encourage pupils to pursue careers in science-related industries.
Organiser Donald Puza said the idea behind the event was sparked by the decline in the number of pupils choosing maths and science subjects, which excludes them from pursuing tertiary studies in the science, technology and engineering fields.
“The learners see maths and science as ’too difficult’ so they tend to choose subjects that they think are easier to pass,” said Mr Puza.
He said urgent intervention was needed to raise awareness about the opportunities that await pupils if they only believe in themselves.
“They think these subjects are too difficult because they don’t trust themselves. They don’t trust that what is within them is enough. They don’t have confidence in themselves. We need to change that narrative,” he said.
Manyano High School principal Nokuzola Malgas agreed, adding that pupils should have the courage to pursue careers in science.
“If you study maths and science you can never go wrong. It will always be relevant,” said Ms Malgas.
The “Love Science Expo” featured industry professionals who spoke to the pupils about job opportunities, financing their studies and the importance of science.
UWC students Kaylin Hendricks and Nzumbulolo Ndou also addressed the pupils and University of Stellenbosch student, Nonkosi Matinise, shared her story.
“I come from the township. I wanted to make them see that regardless of your background, whatever you want in life is possible,” says the chemistry student.
“I highlighted what you can do if you have a chemistry degree and what kind of jobs you can get. If you are entrepreneurial minded, it is fine, you can still study chemistry and create your own cleaning solutions and beauty products,“ said Ms Matinise.
Principal Malgas said the pupils enjoyed the experiments the most: “It was an eye-opener for all of us. We need to promote science and make it interesting. The aim of the event was to ignite the love for science and that was achieved.
“We are happy that the learners enjoyed the event and that we have managed to transform their mindset and ignite a passion and love for maths and science,” said Mr Puza.