25 Jul 2013 06:00
KEETMANSHOOP, 25 JUL (NAMPA) - The biggest-ever Science and Mathematics Fair for schools in the Karas Region was officially opened at Keetmanshoop on Wednesday, and more than half of the participants are girls.
Last year, 165 learners and 98 science projects formed part of the fair, while this year, 207 learners and 163 projects are being judged.
Of the 207 learners from 22 schools participating, a whopping 119 are girls, while only 88 participants are boys.
The fair will select the best regional science learners, with judges set to choose the 20 best projects which will represent Karas in the National Science Fair competition to be held in Windhoek during September this year.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day event, the Deputy Director of Education in the Karas Region, Celi Mostert said the number of participants has increased after motivation by education stakeholders, who urged more learners to participate.
Boys, you must pull up your socks, or soon we are going to have a girls science fair. We do not want to leave you behind, she teased while addressing the learners.
Mostert said for the first time this year, all schools in Keetmanshoop are represented in the competition, while 41 learners from rural schools also joined.
She furthermore encouraged children to work towards achieving Vision 2030 through scientific research and innovation, as these are the pillars of the development plan.
Being young researchers, you must be proud of yourselves already. Research should start at a tender age so that we are able to have a knowledge-based economy in 2030, Mostert stressed.
The deputy education director further encouraged learners to not only focus on their own projects and compete, but to also make time to observe and learn from each other during the competition.
For the past two years, our region came first in the national science fair competition. We are proud of that, and therefore I urge you to make sure we stay on top, she noted.
On her part, the Corporate Affairs Manager at Skorpion Zinc Mine, Nora Ndopu said science plays a vital role in the countrys development, which is why Skorpion decided to be the main sponsor of the competition.
We will continue to give bursaries to students to study science and technology because these are the tools to faster development, she promised.