16 Aug 2015 15:10pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 16 AUG (NAMPA) - The pressure is mounting on the just-selected //Karas science fair team to polish their projects to retain the top spot currently occupied by the region at the National Science Fair.
Last year, the regional team came out tops in the country and the previous year, they ended in second place.
This consistently good performance is attributed to the passion and hard work of some science and mathematics teachers in the region, but particularly event chief judge Connie Williams, a teacher at the Rosh Pinah Academy.
Williams has been involved in the programme for almost 20 years and has just been appointed as the national coordinator for the countrys flagship annual science event for young people.
The //Karas regional science fair was held on Thursday and Friday at the Suiderlig Secondary School hall in Keetmanshoop, with 132 projects entered by 150 learners participating from 22 schools across the region. The region has 44 schools in total.
The top spot for Grade 12 and the senior secondary phase was clinched by John-Roux Foster of Keetmanshoop Private School. His experiment tried to establish the ratios of ingredients needed to produce the strongest concrete.
Malaika du Plessis of Oranjemund Private School (OPS) took first spot in the junior secondary phase; Nyasha Marufu of Rosh Pinah Academy won the gold in the senior primary phase and Noah Nell (OPS) went home with the golden floating trophy for the junior primary phase.
These four winners will be joined by others from both private and public schools - like PK de Villiers, Hoeksteen Combined School and Ambrosius Amutenya Primary School - who altogether occupy the top 20 spots to compete in the nationals as part of the //Karas team.
During the prize-giving, Williams motivated the learners to put in time and effort to upgrade their projects before the nationals in Windhoek from 7 to 11 October this year.
We are the reigning champions and it is hard to get to the top, but even harder to stay there, she said.
Education inspector Cassius Shanjengange said the science fair encouraged critical thinking, innovation and showed that problems can be solved through investigation.
The southern event is presented by the education directorate with Skorpion Zinc from Rosh Pinah as corporate sponsor of the prizes which include a laptop, scientific calculators, the floating trophies and medals.