FameLab SA 2017 semi-finalists!

FameLab SA 2017 semi-finalists!

South Africa’s researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics have shown us their excellent public speaking and science communication skills during FameLab SA 2017. In each heat, contestants were asked to convey a scientific concept of their choice in 3 minutes to a panel of judges including leading researchers, media personalities and science policy makers. They were judged on the content, clarity and charisma of their presentations. Congratulations to all the semi-finalists – they have taken part in masterclasses at the British Council with...
Research at Wits – A FameLab Win

Research at Wits – A FameLab Win

The University of Witwatersrand (Wits) hosted FameLab SA for the first time this year. Showing their commitment to science communication training and the competition, three media and communications professionals judged the competition: Journalist, Sibonelo Radebe, the Business & Economy Editor of The Conversation Africa; Elna Shütz, Content Producer and Presenter at Wits Radio Academy and Shirona Patel, the Head of Communications at Wits. Lungile Khambule impressed them all and moves on to the national semi-finals! Lungile works in the Department of Chemical Pathology...
Wits Centres of Excellence Announce 2 Semi-Finalists

Wits Centres of Excellence Announce 2 Se...

The University of the Witwatersrand Centre of Excellence (CoE) programme is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation and aims to “concentrate existing research excellence, capacity and resources, to enable researchers to collaborate across disciplines on long-term projects that are locally relevant and internationally competitive”. The Centres of Excellence in Palaeosciences, Strong Materials, and Mathematics and Statistical Sciences came together to participate in FameLab SA.  Phylis Makurunje and Aviwe Matiwane...
Beaming Semi-Finalists from UFS/CUT Heat

Beaming Semi-Finalists from UFS/CUT Heat

It’s the first time the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Central University of Technology (CUT)  took part in FameLab SA. Jive Media Africa trained the participants in communication and media skills the day before the heat, held at Centenary Complex on the UFS campus in Bloemfontein. Oluwasegun Kuloyo from UFS and Zanele Matsane from CUT won the jointly-hosted heat! Oluwa is researching a common yeast that lives in the human body, Candida albicans. In healthy people, it is not harmful, but it becomes dangerous in HIV and cancer sufferers. Oluwa’s...
FameLab Heat part of UNISA Research and Innovation Week

FameLab Heat part of UNISA Research and ...

The University of South Africa (UNISA) FameLab heat was part of the institution’s Research and Innovation Week. UNISA also opened the competition to contestants from other institutions, and there was a wide variety of research topics to hear about. Fulufhelo Mudau (above, 2nd from right) joins the group of FameLab SA semi-finalists – well done! The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) plays a significant part in rolling FameLab out in South Africa, and Dr Mthuthuzeli Zamxaka from the agency judged the heat along with Professor Ndikho...
Making Medicinal Plants Move – TUT Chooses Winners

Making Medicinal Plants Move – TUT Choos...

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) participated in FameLab SA for the first time this year – the contestants were excited to be part of this internationally renowned competition, communicating their science and research for the opportunity to represent TUT at the semi-finals. Congratulations to Mapula Razwinani who won the TUT heat! She moves on to the masterclasses and the semi-finals along with runner-up, Ntombikazi Jojo, competing for the national FameLab title. Mapula has been researching how medicinal plants can be used to make cartilage in the human body...
SKA Semi-Finalist Wins a Trip to Mauritius

SKA Semi-Finalist Wins a Trip to Mauriti...

The South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will be the biggest scientific instrument ever built. Listening to their scientists really gives one a sense of the magnitude of the endeavour and the excitement of the discoveries waiting to be made. FameLab, one of the world’s biggest science communication competitions, taking place in over 30 countries – provides the perfect platform for STEM researchers to share their work and develop skills in science communication. The SKA contestants were privileged to have retired NASA – National Aeronautics and Space...
NMMU – Sea Anemones for the Win

NMMU – Sea Anemones for the Win

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) hosted an open heat of FameLab SA. Judging the heat were Dr Natasha Beukes from the NMMU Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, Ms Zandile Mbabela, the NMMU Media Manager and Ms Marilyn Gibbs, the EC Regional Science Fair Director: Eskom Young Scientists. Biochemist, Wynand van Losenoord, from NMMU won the heat! He is currently researching how toxins from sea anemones can be used to improve insulin secretion in people with diabetes. Wynand is passionate about science and says that FameLab provided the platform to...
Mintek Semi-Finalist – More Social About Science

Mintek Semi-Finalist – More Social About...

Mintek is a leading provider of minerals processing and metallurgical engineering products and services to industries worldwide. Their FameLab SA participants had the perfect platform to put their public speaking and communication skills to the test, in front of experienced Mintek judges. The judges were: Ashma Singh, a Senior Technical Specialist in Mintek’s Mineral Processing Division; Mokae Bambo, a scientist at Mintek researching Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for water treatment and Portia Mudau, the Principal Engineer of Mintek’s Minerals Processing Division who...
Retired NASA Technologist to Judge SKA FameLab

Retired NASA Technologist to Judge SKA F...

Jim Adams (below), retired NASA Deputy Chief Technologist, dropped in to speak to the SKA South Africa FameLab participants while they were spending time at the Cape Town Science Centre practising their science communication skills. With responsibility for such a huge science programme, Jim Adams is uniquely positioned to engage SKA scientists on how to communicate with the public. Jim Adams will be one of the judges at the SKA South Africa FameLab heat. The SKA will be the biggest scientific instrument ever built, and working with their scientists really gives one a sense...