ORI Inspire Learners To Build Interest In Science Disciplines

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University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute (ORI) recently launched a science exhibition dubbed ‘STEAM Festival’ aimed at exposing students from Junior and Secondary schools in Maun to various science disciplines and fostering a keen interest for them to engage more with the world of science. 

ORI hosted over 175 students from the schools for a two- day event which sought to inspire young people to take up Science Technology Engineering Art Mathematics (STEAM) related careers.

On the inaugural day, the students embarked on an enriching field trip to Maun International Airport where they had the opportunity to explore and interact with aviation-related entities such as CAAB and air charter companies.

The second day shifted focus to ORI’s centre in Sexaxa where the students were immersed in enlightening demonstrations from various entities in fields such as water hydrology, engineering and medicine. 

The motivation behind the festival stemmed from a lack of awareness regarding ORI’s role in advancing scientific research, as well as the advancement in teaching students about the career prospects in science related professions.

Speaking at the exhibition, one of the event organisers, Nametso Phonchi-Tshekiso expressed her hopes that the two-day long festival would bridge this knowledge gap and bring to light the numerous fields of professions in science students could partake in as disciplines in their future careers.

Phonchi-Tshekiso revealed that the groundbreaking event was the first of its kind noting that there are aspirations to establish it as an annual occurrence during the nationally ordained month of August granted the title Science Month.

The STEAM Festival aimed to accomplish more than just scientific exploration but it also sought to inspire students to express themselves and have a more interactive festival that allowed them to bring feedback and ask questions of the professionals within their fields of interest thereby igniting their curiosity even further.

The festival has successfully carved a path for merging science talents in an engaging and educational manner.

Lawanda Toteng, a student from Leapotswe stated in a short address, “This festival helps us realise what our passions could become.”

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