By :Gofaone Motswagole
The BIUST Satellite event to celebrate the 2022 National Science Week commenced with an activation at Kediretswe grounds, Palapye where BIUST hosted a two day event held under the sub-theme “STEM, advancing life for sustainabledevelopment.”
The target audience and beneficiaries of the satellite event were; families, students (primary and secondary), parents, teachers, researchers, innovators, and policy makers. Other groups targeted were out of school youths, and the entire community (local and international). The target audience was treated to science demonstrations conducted by BIUST students and showcasing of projects.
Morupule Coal Mine Plant Manager Ms Botlhe Mokgethi who was a guest speaker at the event highlighted that the National Science Week initiative precipitated from
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative wherein SADC Science and Technology Ministers in 2008 resolved that SADC should commemorate science, technology and innovation at-least a week annually.
She explained that that this came about after the region realised that awareness in
science, technology and innovation in the region waslow, resulting in low investment in research, science, technology and innovation (RSTI) and ultimately low RSTI outputs and outcomes. Though the National Science Week (NSW) was launched in Mauritius in October 2009 to commemorate Science, Technology and Innovation, Botswana designated the month of August for that commemoration in 2015.
The BIUST Satellite event focused on Astronomy and Mining sectors with the aim to promote public awareness, appreciation and understanding of Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovations nationally, stimulate interest in STEM subjects at primary and secondary school levels, and exposed the public to scientific and technological advances.
Chairperson of the BIUST NSW Dr. Davison Murape explained that the purpose of the event was to provide a platform for showcasing research and innovation products with a view to expose, and commercialise potential entrepreneurs zooming into Astronomy and Mining sector.
Dr. Murape confirmed that BIUST had the most powerful telescope, urging the community to make use of it. He also called for the need to put up more Satellite structures in Palapye.