South Africa tackling climate change through education.

09 08 2019 | 09:22

Last week, South Africa celebrated its annual National Science Week with events, exhibitions and school activities happening across the country. Each year has a topical theme, with the previous year’s “Deepening our Democracy through Science” theme coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu’s birth.

However, this year had a global, environmental focus as the theme “Facing the harsh reality of climate change” took over the country. This might sound negative at first, but the government-run week was an opportunity for students, families and organisations to get together to learn and pledge positive actions that will reduce their impact on the climate.

Universities, science centres, community groups and schools were supported by the government body, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, to share and celebrate science by facilitating educational activities that highlight climate change effects and ways to protect our planet. Judging by the photos and videos listed with #NSW19, plenty of fun was had – which is always a positive action!

With the Agricultural Research Centre, South Africa, students built model wetlands at the Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, and at the South African National Space Agency there were science shows fuelled with liquid nitrogen.

National Science Week, South Africa, aims to “contribute to the development of a society that is knowledgeable about science, critically engaged and scientifically literate”. It is the premier science engagement initiative on the Department of Science and Innovation's calendar, and over 2000 students gathered at Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, to hear the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, officially launch the national event.

Even though the Week has finished, more people now understand and will share the what why and how of climate science and climate solutions.

Positive Action

  • Australia’s own National Science Week starts this weekend, all over the country. Find an event near you and discover something new. Planet Ark will be taking part in Australian Museum's Science in the City.
  • If you want to find out more about climate change and its impact on Australia, visit the Climate Council, Australia's leading climate change communications organisation.




6 August 2019