Facilitator: Mr Maboni Mmatli, Seipone Community Newspaper
Presenter: Ms Nozipho Gumbi, UNISA
Presenter: Mr Raven Motsewabangwe, Science Communuicator
Presenter: Ms Tshiamo Legoale, Mintek/University of Free State.
In line with the 2017 theme of Science Forum South Africa of “Igniting Conversations about Science”, we facilitate a discussion with FameLab alumni and other young scientists actively involved in public engagement. Hear insights from young scientists about their motivation, their views on public engagement in a multicultural society, their experiences, their views on the evolving role of scientists in society, the challenges they face. Join in the discussion and pose your own questions to a group of young, diverse, dynamic and driven South Africans dedicated to having an impact on their communities and country. The discussion will be facilitated by a young freelance science journalist working in the community media environment.
Maboni Mmatli is from Mashashane, Limpopo. He studied and graduated with a BSc in Botany and Zoology from the now Nelson Mandela University. He is a STEMI Advocate and former SAASTA Youth Science and Technology Journalism intern through Seipone Community Newspaper. He founded the Science Students’ Association at NMU (an academic society promoting science as a lifestyle and not just a study field) and Science For Ubuntu (a 100% STEMI initiative concentrating on the development and promotion of STEMI literacy through Communication, Engagement and Education with a special focus in rural and township communities to ensure daily societal participation in the fields).
Nozipho Gumbi has big dreams and hopes for a world that is free of water scarcity and poor-quality water. Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, she recently visited Tianjin polytechnic university in China as an exchange student for a duration of six months, where she was advancing her PhD studies. Prior to that, she was awarded a DAAD scholarship through the German academic student exchange programme; which allowed her to spend 6 months at any German university of choice. She is researching the unlimited possibilities offered by carbon nanotubes and seeks to exploit some of their features for enhanced water purification purposes in order to realise her dreams. After winning the Famelab South Africa 2016 title and being in the top ten Famelab international final in the UK, she says that life has never been the same for her. She has done several radio and television interviews in South Africa, speaking on the importance of science and the unlimited possibilities offered by nanotechnology for water treatment purposes. She was recognised by the Mail & Guardian as one of 200 influential Young South Africans for the 2016 supplement. On the 30th of September 2016, she was amongst the six Famelab alumni’s that participated in the Hall of Famelab competition that was part of a larger night of science communication called Science Uncovered, held at the Natural History Museum in London. Additionally, Ms Gumbi is actively involved in the mentorship and in the tutoring of young girls and boys that are taking science at high school level.
2014 FameLab SA winner and the South African representative at FameLab International in 2014 in the UK, Raven Motsewabangwe, is now the Science Center Coordinator at Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre. He holds an MSc in Biology from North-West University and is pursuing his passion in science communication. Science and science communication have taken him further afield than the UK, and he was also a research fellow at Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) in Argentina. He has served as an adjudicator for the Department of Water and Sanitation (North West): South African Youth Water Prize provincial competition and has been an Eskom Expo Science district and provincial judge. He is a consultant for the Department of Water and Sanitation (North West) youth programme.
2017 FameLab SA and FameLab International winner, Tshiamo Legoale is a Geologist within the Technology Support Unit of Small Scale Mining and Beneficiation at Mintek. She holds BSc Honours Degree in Geology from the University of the Free State, with a mineralogy major. She completed a certificate in Introduction to Mining Engineering with Wits University in 2012, and Mineral Resource Management in 2015. She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management with the University of the Free-State.
She is currently involved in a project aimed at using plants in the mining of low grade ores/ waste dumps (Phytomining). She entered Fame lab 2017 and explained this process to the audience to walk away with the best audience vote as well as overall Fame lab International winner, in Cheltenham.
Her passions include science communication, wetland rehabilitation and musical theatre. She hopes to change the perceptions on science amongst young people through engaging them and making science accessible and interesting.