From the 09 November 2019, the Garden Route started buzzing with excitement as leading Science Communicators, Educators, Science and Technology Professionals and Graduates all coming together for the 21st SAASTEC conference. Focusing on the Theme: Inclusiveness in Science and Technology Centre, encompassing subtopics such as “Breaking barriers to positive actions against climate change”; “Advancing Technology through science centres – embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution”; and “Celebrating International Year of the Periodic Table and IUPAC 100th Anniversary” It was no surprise that there were over 260 people register to attend.

Leaders from Science, Technology and Maths Centres across South African come together to meet with SAATSA (South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement), NRF (National Research Foundation) and DSI (Department of Science and Innovation) to discuss the successes of this past year and opportunities to come.

As an appetizer a variety of hands-on workshops were offered looking at “Indigenous knowledge- through household materials and their properties within traditional homes in rural settings” ; how to take a complex process like “the Birth of a Star” and equip educators involved in Early Childhood Development to excite future generations; to building an “Inclusive Aerospace programme” that enables learners to collaborate on a project, while sitting in different countries. The 21st SAASTEC conference was official opened by Daniel Motsapi, Chairperson of SAASTEC on 12 November at the Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre in Thembalethu. With an inspiring keynote delivered by Dr Miha Kos, CEO-Hisa Eksperimentov in Slovenia,  the three day conference was going full steam ahead.

The Garden route showcased its diversity through the events, starting with an evening in Thembalethu, enriched local cuisine and entertainment, where the Thembalethu Wellness club, got everyone blood pumping with Zumba and Dance, followed by a Braai at Herolds bay and finishing on a high note with the Gala evening at Fancourt Golf estate.

A great thanks to Brett Utian- Director of the Isisombululo Community Improvement Programme, the SAASTEC board and the Inkcubeko team for a successful Conference.