SANRAL going to Scifest Africa 2016 in Grahamstown

MARCH 9, 2016

Building electric circuit boards, undertaking acids and bases tests and learning to read graphs were among the exciting activities visitors to SANRAL’s stands experienced at Scifest Africa, hosted in Grahamstown this month.

During the science experiments, SANRAL’S Centre of Excellence candidates emphasised the importance of obtaining good maths and physical science marks for scholars who are serious about pursuing careers as civil engineer or engineering technologists. They also used the opportunity to talk to visitors about the SANRAL’S scholarship programme.

SANRAL participated in the exhibition, which took place from March 2 until March 8. Scifest Africa, South Africa's National Science Festival, was established in 1996 to promote the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation.

“We were excited to exhibit at Scifest this year. Our exhibitions included building an electric circuit which demonstrated to the children how circuit boards are used in the variable message sign (VMS) boards used to warn motorists if traffic lanes are being worked on,” said SANRAL communications manager Michelle Ah Shene.

Siseko Tenge of Grahamstown SDA Primary School said he enjoyed the experiments immensely.

St Thomas Private School classmates Sinobom Plaatjie and Micah Block both loved spending time at the Scifest.

“This is really great. We also got to test our knowledge about acids and bases,” they said.

QUALITY CHECK: Sandiswa Jekwa (left) and Lugisani Muravha of SANRAL’S Centre of Excellence conduct acid and bases tests using Litmus paper while Sinobom Plaatjie (far right) and Micah Block both in Grade 11 at St Thomas Private School in King Williams Town watches.

“Our Centre of Excellence candidates used the acid and bases tests as a reference to explain how SANRAL tests soils, natural gravel, cuts, fills, sub base and sub grade, before roadworks start.

“There were also other fun experiments such as condensation and using Boyle’s Law which shows how the pressure of a gas tends to increase as the volume  decreases,” said Ah Shene.

Ah Shene said they were pleased with the number of children at the exhibition who showed an interest in SANRAL’s experiments.

Learners can apply for the SANRAL scholarship programme which supports academically deserving applicants in grades 10 to 12.   The minimum requirements are: an overall average of 75% with subject choices that include maths, physical science and English.

Main image: ELECTRICAL CONNECTION: SANRAL Centre of Excellence candidate Sonwabile Dlanjwa (right) explains how the electric circuit board works to Nathina Tanda (left) and Siseko Tenge, both in Grade 7 at Grahamstown SDA  Primary School. SANRAL displayed various science experiments at the Scifest Africa in Grahamstown.