The organisers of this year’s edition of the African Science Week (ASW) have expressed optimism over the impact the event can bring among various learners in the country.
The event, which is coordinated in the region by the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), kicked off on Wednesday at Namiwawa’s Lotus Hotel in Blantyre.
“We are impressed with the interest that participants have displayed especially on the robotics challenge which is being contested by several schools in and around Blantyre. From the look of things, the event is growing from strength to strength every year since it started in 2015,” said Chikondi Shaba who is the country’s NEF reigning ambassador.
Shaba, an analytical chemist and a lecturer at Chancellor College, said such innovations are key to growing the country’s socio-economic development.
In an interview, Atipatsa Tsakala—a school leaver from Chilomoni who patronised the event said it has changed his perception of science.
He argued that emphasis should be put on critical thinking on learners rather than memorizing to pass exams.
“It is clear science fairs like these provide a platform where learners can showcase their innovations, translating the theory they learn in class into practical sessions,” Tsakala explained.
His sentiments come after a student from Joyce Banda Foundation, among others, exhibited a locally-made electricity generator during the robotics challenge.
Meanwhile, the organisers have confirmed that the much-anticipated Science Caravan will take place on December 2 in Zomba.
The event slated for December 2, 2019, will be hosted by St Anthony Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Thondwe, Zomba.
“We have already obtained a nod on this from the South West Education Division [Swed], whose support has been awesome since we started. As we speak, they are mobilising school in and around Zomba for the same. We hope to reach out to many learners as we can,” Shaba said.
NEF, which is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung, emanates from the unique vision that the next Einstein will come from Africa and that Africa’s young people have the potential to bring economic and social growth.
The Africa Science Week is this year themed Uniting the Power of Science.