Poor uptake of mathematics and science at secondary and tertiary level is shrinking the pool of qualified scientists and researchers, in turn threatening the future of scientific development in South Africa. Role modelling campaigns, through which SAASTA hopes to change this poor uptake, is a career profiling project, implemented by the Science Education Unit, which exposes learners to role models with various qualifications in science, engineering and technology (SET). The intervention provides learners with appropriate role models/mentors who, in turn, aim to entice these learners into pursuing careers in SET. The project is aimed at Grade 8 -11 learners who are studying Natural Science, Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Sciences.
Learners normally meet and interact with at least 10 to 12 role models with different careers at each of the interventions, and have the opportunity to request more information about the specialist or on that career. The intervention has further been seen as a way of motivating and encouraging those learners from previously disadvantaged communities hoping to do well in the SET fields to pursue their dreams through guidance and advice from the role models. The objectives of this intervention are therefore:
- Expose learners to various career opportunities in Mathematics, Science, Engineering and Technology;
- Give the learners an opportunity to interact with appropriate role models in SET careers.
Through the Science Education Unit, HySA PADEP will implement various role modelling campaigns across the country once a suitable pool of service providers has been identified to conduct the project nationally. The project will be implemented from 01 August 2015 until 31 March 2016.