National Science Week kicks off at North West University on 1 August 2015. In partnership with the CSIR and its researchers, SciBraai will host another SciBraaiLIVE event – it’s a real-world braai where we share round-the-fire stories about South African science and scientists.
The format of this event will be a mix of the “speed-date a scientist” concept and telling a story around a campfire: we’ll set up tables and assign scientists to the tables throughout the day on a rotational basis. As learners arrive, we’ll invite them for short group conversation with our guest scientists, as well as a free boerewors roll and some juice, which they receive after the conversation. The boerewors will be braai’d nearby throughout the event. The scientists will start the conversations by sharing something about their research and why their work is important for all South Africans, and the SciBraai team will be on hand to prompt questions and encourage the youngsters.
Participating researchers will be asked to bring props – DNA/molecule models, interesting devices (small, e.g. glucose meters) that can be safely demonstrated, materials etc. The researchers need not prepare a formal presentation – the idea is simply to share something short, sweet and simple about their science that could be relevant to the youth, and to then encourage the kids to ask questions about it, or science in general.
Multi-lingual young scientists will be encouraged to participate – this approach not only succeeds in communicating science to youngsters (or the lay public) from a variety of backgrounds, but also gives young researchers an opportunity to practice their science communication skills.
“This is one of the many activities we are doing to take science out of the laboratories and to the people, especially young people, with the hope of showing them how easy and interesting science is. We want them to start thinking about careers in science and start dreaming about working for the CSIR or any other science organisation they want to, as long as they will be using science and technology to better the lives of others,” says Tendani Tsedu, CSIR media manager.
To draw people to the event, SciBraai and CSIR banners will be on display, accompanied by some upbeat background music, a braai and an enthusiastic SciBraai team to guide both the participants and the scientists.
We’ll light the fire in the morning so that we’ll be ready to braai by about 11 am, and we’ll continue until about 2 pm or 3 pm depending on the crowds; the free boerewors rolls and juice will be served on a first-come-first-served basis.
Local scientists served science and boerewors rolls to about 250 kids at our very first #SciBraaiLIVE held at Scifest Africa 2015.
For a better idea of SciBraaiLIVE events, have a look at some photos from Scifest Africa in Grahamstown earlier this year here: goo.gl/OwUnpa, as well as the promo for that event here: scibraai.co.za/the-first-ever-real-life-scibraai-will-be-at-scifest-africa-2015/