The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), in collaboration with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), is proud to collaborate for the third time to reward South Africa’s 2018 outstanding performers in matric in physical science and mathematics.
The partnership will see the SAAO and SARAO support a national astronomy tour from 20-27 June for participants selected for the NSTF Brilliants Programme. This unique programme recognises the top woman and man chosen from each of the nine provinces based on their marks in physical science and mathematics in the 2018 National Senior Certificate Examinations (Grade 12), and their choice for studies in science, engineering and technology (SET)-related courses.
The astronomy tour will conclude with the prestigious 2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards at its 21st Gala Dinner in Gauteng on Thursday, 27 June 2019. The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, is the Awards patron, and has been invited to officiate at the event. These awards are known as the ‘Science Oscars of South Africa’.
The event is attended by the broad SET and innovation community and leaders in South Africa, as well as stakeholders from the international community. The Brilliants Programme coincides appropriately with Youth Month to celebrate the brilliance and potential of South African youth. The NSTF-South32 Awards celebrates the excellence of South Africa’s SET and innovation professionals and their standing as role models for the youth.
The astronomy tour hosted by the SAAO and SARAO will see the Brilliants Awardees visit four provinces, the Boyden Observatory and Naval Hill Planetarium outside Bloemfontein, the Iziko Planetarium in Cape Town, the South African Large Telescope (SALT) outside Sutherland, and the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) outside Johannesburg.
The tour will expose students to new fields of study and careers in SET, bursaries, and inspiration through role models in SET and innovation in South Africa. Visiting the various astronomy tourism sites inspires the students to also promote astronomy and astronomy tourism in South Africa. The NSTF requests bursaries for these deserving students at the Awards Gala Dinner. Interested organisations can donate to the NSTF Bursary Fund to support the future innovators of our country.