FINAL REPORT



    24th TO 26th NOVEMBER, 2009
                                          12th SAASTEC Conference Report



1. Introduction                                                                             3

2. Purpose of the Conference                                                                3

3. Conference Attendance                                                                    4

4. Conference Programme                                                                     4

5. Financial Report                                                                         6

6. Conclusion                                                                               7

Appendix A : Conference Budget and Expenditure                                              8

Appendix B : Letter of Recommendation                                                       9

Appendix C : Programme and Book of Abstracts                                                10

                                            12th SAASTEC Conference Report


         In July 2009, SAASTEC received a grant, in the amount of R150 000, from the
         Department of Science and Technology (DST) to support the hosting of the 12th
         SAASTEC Annual Conference and for general SAASTEC administration. This is the
         final report on the conference and the application of the funds received.


         The main purpose of the conference each year is to provide a sound base of capacity
         building within the science centre network, networking and interaction on many
         different levels for all SAASTEC members and other interested parties.

         The hosts of the 2009 conference were the South African Astronomical Observatory
         (SAAO). Sutherland, the home of SALT (Southern Africa’s Largest Telescope) was
         chosen as an appropriate venue due to the fact that 2009 was International Year of
         Astronomy (IYA).

         In line with IYA, the theme of the conference chosen by the SAASTEC Council was:
         “Reach for the Stars”. This was broken down into four sub-themes:

                      International Year of Astronomy;
                      Darwin and Evolution;
                      Best Practice at Science Centres;
                      Successful Innovation Programmes that are worth replicating at other
                      science centres.

         Papers and presentations on these four themes were invited from members of the
         association and other organisations. The response was overwhelming and a very
         good calibre of papers were received and presented.

         The conference was held in the Church Hall, Sutherland. All catering and functions
         were done by the local community.

                                            12th SAASTEC Conference Report


         Despite the fact that the conference was held in a remote location, a total number of
         92 delegates attended. This included delegates from South Africa as well as from
         Namibia, America, England, India and Nigeria. The delegate from England, Dr Marek
         Kukula was sponsored by the British Council.

         Due to the fact that Sutherland is in a remote area, and in order to keep costs down,
         so that as many people as possible were able to attend, the transport was provided.
         This entailed bussing delegates from the airport to MTN Sciencentre and then on to
         Sutherland. The buses were also utilized during the conference and then transported
         delegates back to Cape Town International airport again.

         Unfortunately the conference fell in peak season, and due to the distance and length
         of time the buses were needed in Sutherland, this ate a rather large hole in the
         conference finances and took the place of actually subsidising delegates from
         financially challenged science centres. However, many more delegates benefited in
         this instance.

         Conference fees were also kept as low as possible for SAASTEC members. Non-
         SAASTEC members pay more.


         The conference ran from Tuesday, 24th to Thursday, 26th November, 2009. (Monday
         and Friday were used for travelling).

         Registration and an informal reception in the form of a play called “Awesome AIDS
         Odyssey” by Geraldine Lazarus and Diane Naidoo (UniZul Science Centre) were held
         in the evening of Monday, 23rd of November.

         The conference proceedings were formally opened on Tuesday morning by The
         Mayor of Sutherland. (The Premier of Northern Cape, Hazel Jenkins, had been
         invited but was unfortunately out of the country at that time.) The guest speaker was
         Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich,
         London. The title of his talk: Engaging new audiences for astronomy in IYA2009.

                                       12th SAASTEC Conference Report

    A total of 47 papers were presented during the three days of conference. In order to
    make the conference as beneficial as possible for all delegates there were no parallel
    sessions whatsoever. After each session there was time set aside on the programme
    for a panel discussion and questions. This often resulted in lively debate and good
    audience participation/interaction. (The Programme and Book of Abstracts is attached
    to this report as Appendix A.)

    Sessions 1–3 covered the topic of “International Year of Astronomy”. 12 papers were
    presented. The session ended with a tour of SALT.                      Session 4 – “Darwin and
    Evolution”, consisted of 2 papers, a panel discussion and a viewing “Dawin NOW” an
    exhibition funded by the British Council. Sessions 5-8 covered “Best Practise at
    Science Centres” with a total of 18 papers being presented. Sessions 9-11 were on
    “Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other science
    centres” with 12 papers being presented.

    There were also three 3 poster presentations which were discussed and viewed
    during lunch and tea times.

    Due to the excellent line-up of presentations on very relevant topics, the delegates all
    benefitted greatly from the interesting and informative papers that were presented at
    the conference. The sharing of information as well as being exposed to international
    speakers and different ways of doing things went a long way to enhance capacity
    building of the Science Centre network.                   In particular, lessons learnt during
    International Year of Astronomy were consolidated. Delegates were equipped with
    new skills to teach Astronomy and further training was discussed.

    In addition to the conference programme, school children from Sutherland invited to
    visit the Darwin NOW exhibition and were also given a rousing talk by Dr Kukula.

    For the first time in the history of SAASTEC conferences, delegates submitted full
    papers of their presentations and proceedings of the conference have been posted
    on the SAASTEC website.

    The visit to SALT on Tuesday evening was mentioned as a highlight by most of the
    conference delegates, and community activities including an outreach event during
    the day and night sky viewing as well as a tour of Sutherland town were very well

                                            12th SAASTEC Conference Report

         Due to the fact that it is a small town, the local people and businesses of Sutherland
         benefited greatly from the SAASTEC Conference being held there and boosting the
         economy. All the guesthouses were full, and local caterers did an excellent job of
         providing refreshments and meals for the delegates. In addition to this, delegates
         freely interacted with each other after hours, networking information and possibilities.
         Many comments were made on how excellent the networking opportunities were at
         this conference. A wonderful atmosphere prevailed for the course of the conference,
         strengthening ties and creating a stronger SAASTEC base.

         On the evening of Wednesday 25th November the delegates were split into 4 groups
         for supper in 4 different venues, based on the 4 sub themes of the conference. A
         formal dinner for all delegates was hosted at the Sutherland Hotel on 26th November.
         Local dignitaries were also invited to attend this function.

         On 26th the programme included the SAASTEC Annual General Meeting, which,
         amongst other things, considered the host venue for the 13th SAASTEC conference in
         2010. The decision was made for a fledgling science centre, Arcelormittal Science
         Centre School of Excellence to host the conference in Vredenburg / Saldanha Bay,

         Council was given a mandate to confirm the venue in discussions with the relevant
         people. Council was also given the mandate to progress with the envisaged DST
         SET Talent Programme.


         A grant of R150,000 was awarded by the DST for the purposes of managing and
         hosting the conference. Additional income was received in the way of registration
         fees and that amounted to R53,630. The total income was thus R203,630. The total
         amount expended amounted to R155,407 giving a surplus of R48223.00. (As DST
         has suggested in the past – this surplus will be used to help run the SAASTEC

         Sponsorship and funding was sought by the SAASTEC Secretary, and received from
         iThemba LABS for the Book of Abstracts. In accordance with usual SAASTEC

                                            12th SAASTEC Conference Report
         Conference practise, conferences are run on as tight a budget as possible. Name and
         bag tags were made in-house and included in the cost of conference organising.

         As mentioned previously in the report, transport was provided and this took up hefty
         chunk (R43,500 - almost a third) of the budget.

         Both MTN Sciencentre and SAAO were generous with staff time before and during
         the conference.

         In this case, both SAAO and SAASTEC bank accounts were utilised, with most
         conference fees being paid directly to SAAO. The SAASTEC sec/treasurer also paid
         an amount of R40,000 into the SAAO account to facilitate various conference
         payments which had to be paid well in advance due to the remoteness of the venue.
         (However, to avoid any confusion in future, conferences will be run solely from the
         SAASTEC bank account.)

         The full income and expenditure report is attached as Appendix B.

         SAASTEC books will be audited within 3 months of year end (as stipulated in the
         constitution) and an audited financial report will be submitted as soon as it is


         In conclusion, the 12th SAASTEC conference was a resounding success.

         SAASTEC would like to express sincere thanks to the Department of Science and
         Technology for their generous support.               This has made possible a high quality
         conference which has been commended by the international and national delegates

         Without this DST support it would not be possible to ensure that the science centre
         network meets annually and engages in meaningful dialogue and debate ultimately
         aimed at improving the science and technology culture and capacity of the people.

                                          12th SAASTEC Conference Report

   APPENDIX A:                          12th SAASTEC Conference Budget and Expenditure

INCOME                                                                                   Budget                Actual

Grant from DST                                                                         R 150,000          R 150,000
Expected Income from 90 paying delegates                          R 950                 R 85,500          R 53,630

TOTAL INCOME                                                                           R 235,500         R 203,630

Conference venue
Data projector and screen                                                                R 2,000                   R0
PA system and Amp.                                                                       R 2,000                   R0
Venue rental plus tables, chairs etc                                                     R 1,200               R 1,200
Exhibition space at De Lust Hostel                                                       R 1,500               R 1,500
Teas/Coffee x 3 days (x 3 teas per day)                           R 75                  R 20,900              R 20,900
Lunch x 3 days                                                    R 135                 R 14,580              R 14,580
Packed Lunch (on bus) x 1 days                                    R 35                   R 3,850               R 3,850
Cordial, ice water, peppermints,                                                           R 500                   R0
Table Cloths                                                    R10 (26)                   R 260                 R 260
75 Packed Lunches (on bus) x 1 days                              R 40                    R 3,000               R 3,000
Printing and Artwork
Book of Abstracts (sponsored by iThemba LABS)                     R 25                   R 3,603                  R0
Other printing                                                                           R 2,000                  R0
Conference Proceedings (CDRom)                                                           R 1,300                  R0
Conference accessories
Conference Identification (Badges & Bag tags)                     R 10                   R 1,200                  R0
Notepads, pens (Sponsored by MTN Sciencentre)                                            R 3,000                  R0
Conference bags (Sponsored by SAAO)                               R 20                   R 2,400                  R0
Badges/keyrings for bags                                          R 30                   R 3,600                  R0
Secretarial / Other staff
Conference Organising fee (per delegate)                       90 x R 160               R 14,400              R 14,400
Delegate transport
Transport to/from airport                                                                R 3,000               R 3,500
Buses from MTN to Sutherland and back                         2 x 60 seaters            R 40,000              R 40,000
Accommodation and meals for the drivers                                                                          R 800
Accommodation for Marek Kukula in Cape Town                                                                    R 1,746
Accommodation for Marek Kukula in Sutherland                                                                   R 1,600
Monday 23rd evening - Ice breaker (110)                            R70                   R 7,700               R 3,850
Tuesday 24th evening braai at SAAO (120)                          R100                  R 12,000              R 12,000
Wednesday 25th evening function (110)                             R 120                 R 12,876              R 12,876
    Perlmans                                                     R 2,835
    Cluster                                                      R 3,861
    Jupiter                                                      R 2,700
    Hotel                                                        R 3,480
Thursday 26th Dinner at Hotel (110)                               R 160                 R 17,600              R 17,600
Outreach event in Sutherland                                                                                     R 950

Administrative & Overhead Costs                                    R0                    R 3,462                R 795
TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                                                      R 176,578          R 155,407
Surplus                                                                                                       +48,223

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report

                     University of Zululand
                   UNIZUL SCIENCE CENTRE,P.BAG X1001, KWADLANGEZWA, 3886
                   Website: scictr.uzulu.ac.za      e-mail: thefish@iafrica.com
                            PH / FAX: 035-797 3204 CELL: 0824528566,

               Science Development Programme

                                                                       30 November 2009

To whom it may concern

Re: SAASTEC Conference at Sutherland.

I write as Director of Unizul Science Centre in Richards Bay. I have attended all 12
SAASTEC (Southern African Association of Science and Technology Centres) Conferences.
In addition I hosted three of the 12 and organised at least half of them.

Having just attended the 12th conference in Sutherland I must say that it ranks as one of the
best – largely because of the outstanding conference facilities offered to us, and the warm
way in which we were welcomed and looked after. I was blown away by the local
organisation and delighted by the charming manner in which we were treated.

My accommodation at the Hotel Sutherland was great and having all 100 delegates together
in a small town ensured excellent cooperation and teamwork. The evening visits to SALT and
the SAAO were naturally a highlight as well.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Sutherland as a conference venue to anyone.

Yours faithfully

Derek Fish
Director: Unizul Science Centre

                                         12th SAASTEC Conference Report

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report

                                     Programme 2009
                             Theme : Reach for the Stars

Monday 23rd November 2009
Time     Activity
         Arrive/Meet up at MTN Sciencentre, walk around the mall, last minute shopping etc.
         Gather at MTN Sciencentre
11:30    Travel to Sutherland: Buses will depart at 11:30 sharp (6 hours travelling time with comfort
17:00    break). Lunch packs will be provided.
18:30    Registration
20:00    Small welcoming function at community hall with finger foods
         Icebreaker : Awesome AIDS Odyssey (Play by Geraldine Genevive Lazarus & Diane Stacey

Tuesday 24th November 2009
Time     Activity                                                            Delegate                      Mins
08:00    Registration at Conference Venue
08:45    Morning Tea / Coffee with scones / muffins
08:45-   Opening Session
10:00    Chair : Alfred Tsipa
08:45    Welcome                                                                                               15
         Opening Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape                 Premier Hazel Jenkins             30
         The Royal Observatory, Greenwich: engaging new                      Marek Kukula
09:30-   audiences for astronomy in IYA2009                                  Public Astronomer
10:00    (sponsored by the British Council)                                  Royal Observatory,
                                                                             Greenwich, London, UK
10:00    International Year of Astronomy
11:10    Session 1      (Chair : Kevin Govender)
10:00-   Teaching astronomy to school age children – the                     Anthony Lelliott,
10:30    implications for science centres. A review of 35 years of           Marang Ctre for Maths
         research.                                                           & Science Education,
10:30-   A recent innovation in astronomy education: The Mobile              John Crossland &,
10:45    Planetarium in the Western Cape.                                    Nadine Broodryk,
                                                                             MTN Sciencentre, Sci
10:45-                                                                       Anacletta Koloko,
         Investigating learners' participation in an astronomy quiz.                                           15
11:00                                                                        HartRao
         Questions to the panel                                                                                10
11:10-   Tea/Coffee                                                                                            20

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report
11:30-   International Year of Astronomy
12:50    Session 2     (Chair : Derek Fish)
                                                                             Shadrack Mkansi
         Science Centres – a breeding place for Astronomers                  (presented by Bafedile            15
                                                                             Kgwadi) Observatory.

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report

                                                                             C.N Ofodum, P.N
                                                                             Okeke and R.I
11:50-   Astronomy and Space Science Popularization Programme
                                                                             Asekhamen, Centre for             15
12:05    in Nigeria: The CBSS Experience.
                                                                             Basic Space Science,
                                                                             Nsukka, Nigeria
                                                                             Anthony Lelliott,
12:05-   Massive – how students relate to size and distance as a             Marang Centre for
12:20    result of an astronomy science centre visit.                        Maths and Science
                                                                             Education, WITS
                                                                             Peter McEwan,
12:30-   The making an Astronomy DVD for open source
                                                                             Education consultant              10
12:40    distribution using grant money received from SAASTA.
                                                                             UDDI Science Centre
         Questions to the panel                                                                                10
         Lunch                                                                                                 60
11:30    International Year of Astronomy
12:50    Session 3      (Chair : Michael Peter)
                                                                             Mdumiseni Nxumalo,
         Science Centres’ advantage in Astro-Tourism                         HMO (Candice Rajah,               15
                                                                             Gateway SC & SAAO staff)
         The Durban University of Technology Indlebe Radio                   Stuart MacPherson,
         Telescope                                                           Durban University of              15
14:30-   The development of a solid-state cooling system for the             Peter Howells, Durban
14:45    front-end of a transit radio telescope.                             University of Technology
                                                                             Jan Smit, North-West
         Relating simple experiments to hot topics                           University Science                15
         Questions to the panel                                                                                10
         Tea/Coffee + viewing of Solar Telescope                                                               30
         Visit to SAAO/SALT (split groups rotated through: visitor centre; small telescopes;
         Braai at SAAO
20:00    Stargazing

Wednesday 25th November 2009
Time     Activity                                                            Delegate                      Mins
08:00    Registration at Conference Venue
08:30    Morning Tea / Coffee with scones / muffins
08:30-   Darwin and Evolution
10:00    Session 4           (Chair : Rudi Horak)
         Darwin - A New Way of Thinking (Invited Talk)                       Terry J Hutter, CESLA             30
09:00-                                                                       Irene van Nugteren,
         Darwin as a Role Model for Young Scientists                                                           15
09:15                                                                        Sci-Enza
         Panel Discussion and Questions                                                                        45
         Tea/Coffee (viewing of British Council Exhibition – Darwin NOW)                                       60

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report

11:00-   Best Practice at Science Centres
12:55    Session 5         (Chair : Rufus Wesi)
11:00-   Implications for Science Centres of the King lll Report on
                                                                            David Kramer, Sci-Bono             15
11:15    Corporate Governance
         Science outreach in the whale town - The first five years          Elisa Fraser, HMO                  15
11:30-   Careers, Role Models And Professionals – The role of               Candice Arendse NSTF
11:45    science centres                                                    Volunteer (HMO)
         Innovative ideas on how SA science centres can use
                                                                            Ina Roos, Beverley
11:45-   research to inspire girl learners’ and undergraduate
                                                                            Damonse, Lorenzo                   15
12:00    students’ participation in science, engineering and
                                                                            Raynard, SAASTA
         technology careers
         Are Science Centres effective in science communication?            Msizi Khathide, HMO                15
12:15-                                                                      Julie Cleverdon, Derek
         Moving Home                                                                                           30
12:45                                                                       Fish & Rudi Horak
         Questions to the panel                                                                                10
         Lunch (with school activity for Sutherland learners)                                                  60
14:00-   Best Practice at Science Centres
15:00    Session 6        (Chair : David Kramer)
14:05-   Science centres accessibility to the physically and
                                                                            Puleng Tsie, Sci-Enza              15
14:20    mentally impaired.
                                                                            Tanja Reinhardt &
                                                                            Asokaran Rajh, UKZN,
14:20-   The Science and Technology Education Centre – A new
                                                                            Science and Technology             15
14:35    “star” in the science centre Universe?
                                                                            Education Centre
                                                                            Anthony Lelliott and
         Why do they bring their classes? Teacher and learner               Mpho Mosabala, Marang
         perceptions of the purpose and objectives for class visits         Centre for Maths and               15
         to science centres.                                                Science Education,
         Questions to the panel
         Tea/Coffee                                                                                            20
15:25-   Best Practice at Science Centres
17:40    Session 7          (Chair : Gilbert Lekwe)
                                                                            Nyamupangedengu &
15:25-   Using worksheets during a tour of a biology exhibition –           Anthony Lelliott, Marang
15:40    are they effective?                                                Centre for Maths
                                                                            Science Education,
15:40-   The role of Science Festivals as part of the activities at         Vera Adams, Scifest
15:55    Science Centres.                                                   Africa
         Outreach efforts at IUCAA : What is possible with a small          Samir Dhurde, IUCCA,
         team?"                                                             Pune Univ. Campus,                 30
16:30-   IYA2009 Astronomy workshop: How to do astronomy
                                                                     Kevin Govender, SAAO         70
17:40    outreach (to be applied later that evening)
         Supper at 4 restaurants around town - each of four restaurants will be themed with
         one of the sub themes of the conference - limited spaces so people have to settle for
         2nd choice if they don't make it in time – (choice will be at registration - meant to keep
         people with common interests together)
19:30-   Community event with telescopes

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report
Thursday 26th November 2009
Time     Activity                                                            Delegate                      Mins
08:00-   Registration at Conference Venue
08:30    Morning Tea / Coffee with scones / muffins
08:30-   Best Practice at Science Centres
10:10    Session 8          (Chair : Eliza Fraser)
         Inspiring Northern Cape Learners through the SKA Project            Marion West, HartRao              15
08:45-                                                                       Helga Nordhoff, Sci-
         “Green Living” - Play and Learn!                                                                      15
09:00                                                                        Enza
09:00-                                                                       Jani de Bruin, MTN
         Marketing on a shoe string                                                                            15
09:15                                                                        Sciencentre
                                                                             Tholang Maqutu,
09:15-                                                                       CPUT
         Science centers and attitudes of learners towards science                                             15
09:30                                                                        & Michael Ellis, MTN
09:30-                                                                       Fannie Matumba, Sci-
         DESIGNation                                                                                           15
09:45                                                                        Bono Discovery Centre
09:45-   Public communication in the South African Nuclear                   Gilbert Lekwe ,
10:00    industry: Necsa’s role                                              NECSA
         Questions to panel                                                                                    10
         Tea/Coffee                                                                                            20
         Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other science
11:40    centres
         Session 9         (Chair : Terry Hutter)
                                                                             Derek Fish, UniZul &
         Bringing Chemistry in from the Cold!                                John Crossland, MTN               20
10:55-   Science fiction - friend or foe to public engagement with           Michael Ellis, MTN
11:10    science                                                             Sciencentre
                                                                             Sam Rametse, HartRao
11:10-   Kom, Laat ons blom by my korner”
                                                                             (presented by                     15
                                                                             Anacletta Koloko)
         Questions to the panel                                                                                10
         Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other science
12:40    centres
         Session 10         (Chair : Tony Lelliott)
11:45-                                                                       Dan Archer & Grahame
         Progressing a National Network of Science Centres                                                     15
12:00                                                                        Lindop, Ulwazi
12:00-   Does South Africa need another National Competition in              Anitha Ramsuran,
12:15    Science and Technology?                                             Innovation Fund, NRF
                                                                             Teboho Seseng &
12:15-   Innovation and Entrepreneurship – A delivery model for
                                                                             Hendrick Tshitabane,              15
12:30    South African Schools
                                                                             Innovation Fund, NRF
         Questions to the panel                                                                                10
         Lunch                                                                                                 60
         Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other science
15:05    centres
         Session 11         (Chair : Anitha Ramsuran)
         Davy Dragons Guide to the Night Sky.                                Theo Ferreira, Iziko              15
                                                                             Geraldine Genevive
         Awesome AIDS Odyssey                                                Lazarus & Diane                   15
                                                                             Stacey Naidoo, UniZul

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report

                                                                             Allison Ruiters, Old
14:20-                                                                       Mutual-MTN
         Revamping an existing science centre: the 3P approach                                                  15
14:35                                                                        Sciencentre & Derek
                                                                             Fish (UniZul)
14:35-   Serious about Fun: Holiday Programmes at Science
                                                                             Rudi Horak, Sci-Enza               15
14:50    Centres
14:50-   IYA Langa Astronomy Project: Towards a model for                    S. Manxoyi , SAAO                  15
15:05    communicating astronomy to a whole community
15:05-   Preparing a Major Exhibition: Challenges, Pitfalls and              Michael Peter & Stuart
15:20    Lessons not yet Learnt                                              Hopwood, Sci-Bono
         Questions to the panel                                                                                 10
         Tea                                                                                                    60
16:00-   General
17:30    Session 12         (Chair : Alfred Tsipa)
16:00-                                                                       Julie Cleverdon,
         Update on 6SCWC                                                                                        15
16:15                                                                        MTN Sciencentre
         SAASTEC AGM                                                         ALL                                75
19:00    Conference Dinner @ Sutherland Hotel
         Stargazing available for those interested - options of
         in town or up at the SAAO (after Conference Dinner)

Friday 27th November 2009
Time     Activity                                                            Delegate                     Mins
08:00-   Morning Tea / Coffee with scones / muffins
08:30-   CLOSING
10:00    Session 13
08:30-                                                                       Kevin Govender &
         Closing comments                                                    Alfred Tsipa
         First Bus departs (lunch packs provided)

         NB: this bus goes via the airport – all those with
09:00    flights to catch should be on this bus                                                           hours

         (there will be no shuttles from MTN Sciencentre)

         Second Bus departs (lunch packs provided)

         Goes straight to MTN Sciencentre                                                                  ~6
         (people going by train should take this bus – the
         train only leaves at 17h55)

                                           12th SAASTEC Conference Report

         The Royal Observatory, Greenwich: engaging new audiences for astronomy in
         Marek Kukula
         Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London, UK
         (Sponsored by the British Council)

         The Royal Observatory, Greenwich combines a historic World Heritage site with a modern science centre
         and London’s only public planetarium. Each year we run an extensive programme of astronomy events for
         our 1.3 million visitors, and reach millions more via our role as a point of contact for the UK media. But for
         IYA2009 we have attempted to reach out and engage new audiences by pioneering a range of innovative
         partnerships with science, arts and community organisations. This talk will summarize our efforts to
         broaden the reach of astronomy in one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities.

Session 1 - International Year of Astronomy
Chair    Kevin Govender (SAAO)

1        Teaching astronomy to school age children – the implications for science
         centres. A review of 35 years of research
         Anthony Lelliott
         Marang Centre for Maths & Science Education, WITS

         This paper reviews astronomy education research carried out among school students, teachers and
         museum visitors over a 35-year period from 1974 until 2008. 103 peer-reviewed journal articles were
         examined, the majority of whose research dealt with conceptions of astronomical phenomena with 40%
         investigating intervention activities. Five ‘big ideas’ in astronomy accounted for over 80% of the studies:
         conceptions of the Earth, gravity, the day-night cycle, the seasons and the Earth-Sun-Moon system. Most
         of the remaining studies were of stars, the solar system and the concepts of size and distance. The review
         found that conceptions of the Earth and the day-night cycle are relatively well-understood, especially by
         older students, while the Moon phases, the seasons and gravity are concepts that most people find difficult
         both to understand and explain. Much of the research has worked with constructivist theories resulting in
         methodological and theoretical insights of value to researchers and practitioners in the field. The review
         further established that thoroughly planned classroom interventions are likely to be the most effective way
         of implementing conceptual change. However, in South Africa, most science teachers have little
         background in astronomy. Science centres might be able to fill that gap in various ways: not only by
         providing the ‘wow factor’ but also by making available themed innovative experiences in astronomy for
         visiting school children, by running short courses for teachers and by disseminating good practice. Details
         of how these might be achieved are discussed.

2        A recent innovation in astronomy education: The Mobile Planetarium in the
         Western Cape
         John Crossland &, Nadine Broodryk
         MTN Sciencentre, Sci Enza

         Astronomy education is at best poorly handled in most South African schools. This despite it being
         adequately addressed in three phases of the RNCS. We believe that there are two underlying reasons for
         this shortcoming: Teachers are insufficiently skilled in Astronomy, Schools are under-equipped. Our
         solution has been implemented through an extensive co-operation between the MTN Sciencentre (Cape
         Town), Sci-Enza Science Centre (University of Pretoria), the Western Cape Education Department
         (WCED), Isiko Museum Planetarium (Cape Town), and the South African Astronomical Observatory,
         culminating in the purchase and launch of The WCED Mobile Planetarium. This innovative teaching aid
         builds on experience with earlier technologies, enabling us to take astronomy to schools during daylight
         hours, to show learners what to expect in the sky at night; both today and in the future, and introduces
         them to some of the fast-fading African Star Lore. Our presentations involve an astronomy workshop, a
         ‘DiscoveryDome’ experience and the completion of a follow-p worksheet. In the course of our
         presentations, which are graded according to Learning Phases, we show Teachers and Learners the
         origins of some of the ancient constellation names, at the same time telling various stories from African
         astronomy, interweaving overseas indigenous knowledge with our own. Furthermore it is possible to dispel
         some of the astrological myths. In presenting our paper, we will show how, by introducing a sense of
         mystery and coupling it with a fun experience, we appeal to learners’ innate sense of inquiry.

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3        Investigating learners' participation in an astronomy quiz.
         Anacletta Koloko

         The astronomy quiz is a project that is funded and partly organized by the South African Agency for
         Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), which is an agency of the National Research
         Foundation (NRF). SAASTA is the official vehicle for facilitating the promotion of science and technology in
         our country. Learners work in teams during the quiz and it is important to understand how they work
         together to prepare for the quiz and in what way does the teacher assist them. Consequently the following
         question will guide my study.
                  How does participation in a quiz promote learning about astronomy?
                     How does a selection of learners prepare collaboratively for the SAASTA astronomy quiz?
                     In what ways do learners perceive the astronomy quiz to be valuable in increasing their
                         o Knowledge and interest in astronomy.
         In my study I am looking specifically at how learners from previously disadvantaged schools prepare for the
         astronomy quiz. In South Africa we have a shortage of scientists, more especially astronomers, so by
         engaging learners at a young age in stimulating activities such as the astronomy quiz, we aim at achieving
         the following objectives:
                  To contribute to the improvement of awareness, interest, understanding and insight into basic
                  To build appreciation of and pride in South Africa’s history of astronomical activity and
                  achievements, and current projects;
                  To record and celebrate the participation of women in astronomy so as to foster interest of girl
                  learners in career opportunities in astronomy.
                  (SAASTA 2008).

Session 2 - International Year of Astronomy
Chair    Derek Fish (UniZul Science Centre)

4        Science Centres – a breeding place for Astronomers
         Shadrack Mkansi (presented by Bafedile Kgwadi)
         Observatory, SAASTA

         How do young learners learn in Science Centres? How can we advance science awareness and change
         the lives of young people thereby keeping them within the sciences. My paper will be based on the
         experiences we have had with one of our competitions for the young ones. This competition is in
         Astronomy and I would like to present the role Science Centres played and the success of the programme,
         in terms of how it got learners enthused, engaged and interested in Astronomy without teaching them
         Astronomy. The paper will show how Astronomy was advanced through a competition and how teachers
         achieved higher outcomes through a programme like this. The paper will focus on the data collected over
         the past three years of running the programme and the results it yielded after running such a programme,
         highlighting the roles that Science Centres played and how learners were engaged by these centres. Also
         outlining how well learners learn through interaction and in organized groups. Part of what will be
         highlighted within the Science Centre learning sector is its relevance by providing examples from related
         projects in the country. Most importantly competitions like this will help build learners’ confidence and
         thereby increase the pool of learners taking science at a later stage.

5        Astronomy and Space Science Popularization Programme in Nigeria: The CBSS
         C.N Ofodum, P.N Okeke and R.I Asekhamen
         Centre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka, Nigeria

         The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) was established in Nigeria in the year
         1999, with the mandate to formulate, implement, as well as co-ordinate the Nigerian space policy. At the
         same time, the Centre for Basic Space Science (CBSS) Nsukka is one of the activity Centres under
         NASRDA. In line with this, this paper extensively discussed the progress made so far on astronomy and
         space science popularization programme in Nigeria vis-à-vis the mandate of the Centre for Basic Space
         Science since 2003. We also took time to discuss the perceived constraints that are being experienced on
         the course of this mass mobilization project. Serious effort was also made to critically review and also
         proffer solutions for the way forward, if the target objective of one of the Centre’s mandate must be
         achieved in this present day Nigeria.

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6        Massive – how students relate to size and distance as a result of an astronomy
         science centre visit.
         Anthony Lelliott
         Marang Centre for Maths and Science Education, WITS

         In the light of the new curriculum, this study describes how a group of grade 7 and 8 students in South
         Africa engaged with the notions of size and distance in the Universe before, during and after a visit to an
         astronomy science centre. A very limited amount of research has been conducted on these concepts
         worldwide. Using a combination of concept maps, observations and interviews, results indicate that,
         despite contrary suggestions in the literature, students aged 13- to 15-years are able to improve their
         conceptions of size and distance from naïve and conflicting knowledge to a more scientific understanding
         of mass, size and distance after their visit. The findings also demonstrate, using a human constructivist
         framework, that students showed both weak and strong restructuring of knowledge. Experiences with size
         and distance also appeared to be important in the students’ affective domain. The paper argues that a
         combination of related, themed experiences related to size and distance can account for the improvement,
         and recommends that these and even more innovative activities should be explicitly promoted at science
         centres and in out-of-classroom activities.

7        The making an Astronomy DVD for open source distribution using grant money
         received from SAASTA.
         Peter McEwan
         Education consultant UDDI Science Centre

         Presentation on the making of the open source Astronomy & Light DVD using the SAASTA grant.

         1.   Overview of the contents:
                  Disc 1
                  Lecture 1 - Light - geometric optics NCS Gr10 & 11
                  L2 - Light - Colour - NCS Gr12
                  Disc 2
                  L3 - waves - NCS Gr10-12
                  L4 - particle / wave dual nature of light - NCS Gr12
                  Disc 3 - Astronomy - trying to fit as much info and images onto a two hour DVD

         2.   Its intended audience and encouragement of distribution all over.

Session 3 - International Year of Astronomy
Chair    Michael Peter

8        Science Centres’ advantage in Astro-Tourism
         Mdumiseni Nxumalo
         Unizul, HMO (Candice Rajah, Gateway SC & SAAO staff)

         Science Centres are focused in promotion and support of the development of the pool of scientific and
         technological skills in Southern Africa. The main concern of science centres within Southern Africa is their
         sustainability not only in terms of income generation for the funding of programs, but the evolution of the
         programs themselves to insure a perpetual interest of science and technology within a changing society.
         Astronomy in the science centres can be developed to the level that attracts visitors and in the case of our
         local sky, the local star-lore should showcase local sky features of interest to the visitors. Research based
         development is required so as to link science centre programs with local light pollution-free areas that can
         be used to operate incorporated visits facilitated by science centres focusing on night sky viewing. The
         challenge is the level of creativity that is required and the scarcity of local star-lore to sustain such
         development. This paper debates these possibilities as well as highlighting possible solutions to move
         forward while reflecting on local people’s interest on the subject based research that has been done by
         Mdumiseni Nxumalo of Unizul Science Centre.

9        The Durban University of Technology Indlebe Radio Telescope
         Stuart MacPherson,
         Durban University of Technology

         In 2006 the Department of Electronic Engineering at the Durban University of Technology embarked on an
         ambitious project to design, construct and test a radio telescope operating at the 21 cm hydrogen line. The
         intention was for the telescope to be operational on the campus by 2009, to coincide with the IYA. The

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          aims of the project were to (a) provide a platform for research in the field of low noise receiver systems, (b)
          provide a vehicle to increase interest of secondary school leavers in the field of SET and (c) to promote
          local awareness of the IYA. The Indlebe Radio Telescope is now fully operational and this paper presents a
          brief overview of the project at a systems level, results that have been achieved and proposals for further
          expansion of the project.

10        The development of a solid-state cooling system for the front-end of a transit
          radio telescope.
          Peter Howells
          Durban University of Technology

          The objectives of this project are to design and construct a solid state cooling system using locally
          available components, that is modular in construction and therefore, easy to maintain. The system will
          comprise the use of controlled thermo-electric cooling devices (TEC’s) to maintain a constant temperature,
          thereby providing a stable measurement platform for the front-end of a radio telescope at a relatively low
          cost compared to existing cryogenic cooling system installations. Included in the scope of the project is to
          compare this non-evacuated cooling system with existing high-vacuum techniques. The use of TEC’s not
          only reduces the initial cost of installation but also lowers the operating costs after commissioning.

11        Relating simple experiments to hot topics
          Jan Smit
          North-West University Science Centre

          Hot topics are defined in this context as topics that form news headlines over a considerable time in
          international newspapers and magazines of scientific nature. Two examples are: Global Heating and Dark
          Matter. In this presentation two simple experiments would be presented to relate these topics to hands-on
          activities in a science centre.
          In relation to Global Heating a simple experiment to relate global eating to two basic equilibrium states
          would be demonstrated and discussed. It would be indicated in the presentation how creative thinking can
          be stimulated in this experiment and in the subsequent discussion.
          Dark Matter and the associated Dark Energy would be introduced with an analogy. An experiment to
          demonstrate in a practical way some properties of Dark Matter forms part of the presentation. A hypothesis
          relating the existence of (human) life to Dark Matter would be presented. This hypothesis is also aiming at
          stimulating the creative thinking processes of visitors to a science centre.
          Other hot topics would be mentioned in the presentation and how simple experiments related to these
          topics can be presented in a science centre to stimulate creative thinking. It should become clear from this
          presentation that: What is presented in a science centre is often not as important as how it is presented.

Session 4 - Darwin and Evolution
Chair     Rudi Horak

12        Darwin - A New Way of Thinking (Invited Talk)
          Terry J Hutter
          Charles Darwin, his life, the people and places that had an impact on him, all which resulted in a new
          theory and the beginning of a new way of thinking.

          His challenge of the calculations of Bishop Ussher, who postulated an Earth creation date of 23 October
          4004 BCE, had a profound impact on the Naturalist movement and the Neptunist theory of the day. Other
          Naturalists had indicated in works and lecture that a much greater time was needed than allowed by the
          Church, however, it was Darwin who established a quantifiable new theory, based on new Thinking
          Methods and qualified on a Plutonist theory for the Earth.

          The methods applied by Darwin are models for new discoveries and applicable for use in Science Centres.

13        Darwin as a Role Model for Young Scientists
          Irene van Nugteren

          As part of the 200 year anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin the Sci-Enza science centre hosted
          several activities themed around this renowned naturalist Charles Darwin. a Darwin theme was used to
          address the knowledge area of diversity, change and continuity in the life sciences curriculum and this
          paper aims comment on the value in replicating these activities at other science centres and present a
          resources to do so. The use of Darwin’s biography and scientific thought process were used as basis to lay

                                            12th SAASTEC Conference Report
          a foundation in the comprehension of concepts of adaptation, natural selection and genetics. Activities
          were focussed, but limited to, FET phase learners. Characteristics of Charles Darwin that model sound
          scientific principles are outlined and suggestions are made as to use Darwin to help learners ethically
          assess and take informed opinions about scientific knowledge of evolution. Some of the activities
          discussed in the paper includes a Darwin Art and Poetry competition, a natural selection workshop and
          dinosaur themed puppet theatre. Challenges facing teachers are briefly discussed and suggestions are
          made to address these.

Session 5 - Best Practice at Science Centres
Chair     Rufus Wesi

14        Implications for Science Centres of the King lll Report on Corporate Governance
          David Kramer

          Governance tends to be an uninteresting part of managing a science centre – at least until things go
          wrong. But a strong, involved and dedicated board of directors can be a major asset. In South Africa, there
          are rules and duties that apply to the people that govern organisations, whether these are companies,
          trusts or voluntary organisations. So, as bored as we may be with boards, getting it wrong could cause all
          sorts of problems for science centres. The recently published King III report on Corporate Governance
          defines the rules for governing all companies in South Africa, including those NGOs registered as Section
          21 non-profit companies, such as SAASTEC and many science centres. The Report largely ignores the
          needs of non-profit organisations. This has resulted in (a) the governance needs of science centres not
          being addressed and (b) some duties for the directors of science centres that they might find challenging.
          There may also be a need to restructure science centre governance to adhere to the new legal
          requirements recommended by King III. The presentation will look at the challenges to governing
          themselves that the Report poses and at some of the possibilities and opportunities to strengthen
          governance that could be considered, within the South African legal framework, that will help to run stable
          and well managed science centres.

15        Science outreach in the whale town - The first five years
          Elisa Fraser
          Hermanus Magnetic Observatory Science Centre

          Science, technology and innovation play a critical role in economic growth and socio-economic
          development. Science centres are ideally positioned to play a key role in developing human capital for
          research, development and innovation. The HMO Science Centre has been in operation since October
          2004. This presentation will focus on the development of the HMO Science Centre as part of the National
          Research Facility during this five year period. It will highlight the programmes and overall operation with
          particular emphasis on the role of the centre within the rural Breederiver Overberg region in the Western

16        Careers, Role Models And Professionals – The role of science centres
          Candice Arendse
          NSTF Volunteer (HMO)

          Youth Development Programs in South Africa consists of a National support system that comprises people,
          opportunities and services that is needed by young people to be content, inspired and successful. These
          programs currently exist in a variety of forms and have benefited the economy and communities immensely
          over the past few years in more ways than one. One of these benefits includes the correct approach to
          career guidance. In general but especially in science, career guidance has become a sort after need
          amongst high school learners. With ever increasing opportunities and options it is important for the
          professional to have an updated background with ideas and strategies before approaching individuals.
          This presentation will focus on the impact that the learning outcomes of a Youth Program has on National
          Initiatives such as the advancement of career guidance in terms of managing, planning and innovation.

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17        Innovative ideas on how SA science centres can use research to inspire girl
          learners’ and undergraduate students’ participation in science, engineering and
          technology careers
          Ina Roos, Beverley Damonse, Lorenzo Raynard,

          South Africa has had an overall growth in the total number of women in science, engineering and
          technology (SET) careers in recent years, but a closer examination of research data on this subject shows
          that that there is a pattern of decreasing percentages as the level of study moves upwards from
          undergraduate to doctoral levels. A number of recent research projects have attempted to learn from the
          experiences of successful women in SET careers and how their life experiences and lessons learnt can be
          translated into interventions in science centres that successfully attract and attain more women in SET
          careers. This paper focuses specifically on the role that science centres can and do play in the
          communication strategies of this type of research to the intended audience – young girl learners, their
          educators and parents. The paper will look into innovative ways in which science centres can use research
          into science and gender to contribute towards creating awareness, encouraging debate and changing the
          public perceptions of science and gender. The paper will specifically investigate the endeavours of the
          South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement in this area and will conclude with
          practical suggestions on how research into science and gender can best be translated effectively into
          science centre programmes/exhibits.

18        Are Science Centres effective in science communication?
          Msizi Khathide,
          Hermanus Magnetic Observatory

          Constructivism has shaped the way teaching takes place in many classrooms. This form of science
          communication from its very foundations requires that science teaching be contextualized. Constructivist
          requires that the teacher assume that every student will learn by building upon an existing knowledge
          framework. In the formal classroom the problem with this theory is that each individual needs to be
          attended to according to their own styles of learning. In the informal context, such as in science centers,
          constructivism presents an even bigger problem in that the facilitator has little or no time to discover the
          background of the audience. In addition to the above, science communicators in contexts such as in
          science centers, are always faced with the challenge of making a big impact in short time. Piaget, seen by
          many as the father of constructivism, also defines in his genetic epistemology four stages of cognitive
          development in which each stage builds from the former. Vygotsky comes into the picture with ratifications
          to Piaget’s theory by recognizing the importance of cultural background as an effect to the stages of
          development. He introduced the notion of the zone of proximal development as a moment in which a child
          would need assistance from an adult in order to overcome a barrier to cognitive development.There are
          many learning theories and as much as most have been proved to work, they all have flaws as we have
          seen with constructivism. The question for science centers is: how do they overcome these challenges in
          order to make science communication effective to all the learners that come into the science centers from
          their many different backgrounds? This paper will attempt to answer this question by giving some answers
          and examples from literature and give some situations from the HMO science centre.

19        Moving Home
          Julie Cleverdon, Derek Fish & Rudi Horak

          Operation Relocation - Is the term now used by all staff members in the MTN Sciencentre for the
          impending and desired move of the Sciencentre at the end of October 2010. This project, headed by Julie
          Cleverdon, sees the MTN Sciencentre move from Phase I to Phase II of its development, and from a
          commercial shopping centre venue (with extremely high rentals) to another venue as yet unknown.

          In order to draw from the experience of others, Julie asked her good friends Rudi Horak and Derek Fish to
          share about the moves they undertook in 2001 and 1997. Rudi Horak was involved in the development of a
          science centre over three decades and will share her experiences, mistakes, frustrations, achievements,
          wrong and right decisions of moving and expanding a science centre. Sci-Enza is the first and oldest
          science centre in South Africa and a short history of the Sci-Enza science centre will be the background of
          sharing the secret of success of “Moving Home” Derek Fish has run SA’s second oldest Centre, Unizul
          Science Centre, for over 18 years. After being on the Unizul campus for 10 years, it relocated to disused
          industrial buildings in Richards Bay (35 kms away!) in 1997. Since then it has expanded exponentially
          confirming that the move was the right thing at the right time – but was not without its challenges!
          Operation Relocation is a current project for the MTN Science Centre, and Julie Cleverdon, would like to
          share a few valuable lesson and insights gained on this journey to date:- naturally with a view to
          addressing strategic issues that most science centers are likely to face in their lifespan.

Session 6 - Best Practice at Science Centres
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Chair     David Kramer

20        Science centres accessibility to the physically and mentally impaired.
          Puleng Tsie, Nolitha Nkobole

          Science centres promote interest and awareness about science, engineering and technology in various
          ways such as through exhibits, workshops and science shows to learners, students and the general public.
          In a science centre visitors are challenged to tackle problems using both their mind and physical abilities.
          In the case where either the physical or mental abilities are impaired, science centres face challenges in
          providing an equal science experience. The paper focuses on accessibility of science centres to the
          physically and mentally impaired. Factors that prevent them to optimally interact with, and utilise, science
          centre facilities will be identified. Methods that the museums have developed to accommodate the disable
          bodied visitors will be analysed for their potential to be transferred to the science centre environment. The
          outcome of this paper is to provide guidelines to enhance the science centre experience for everybody,
          able and disabled persons alike.

21        The Science and Technology Education Centre – A new “star” in the science
          centre Universe?
          Tanja Reinhardt & Asokaran Rajh,
          UKZN, Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC)

          The Science and Technology Education Centre (STEC) in Durban is a fairly new, small Science Centre in
          South Africa. It is located on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville Campus and officially opened its
          doors in October 2008. Although it is fairly common to have a Science Centre at a University, this Science
          Centre is in some respect quite unique in South Africa, as it combines both museum and science centre
          structures in one place. In this paper we will discuss our objectives, our experiences of setting up STEC,
          and our activities so far. We will outline the design and the operational structure of the centre and will also
          look into the advantages of being based at a University, and how we are integrated into the University and
          the challenges that we face.

22        Why do they bring their classes? Teacher and learner perceptions of the purpose
          and objectives for class visits to science centres.
          Anthony Lelliott and Mpho Mosabala
          Marang Centre for Maths and Science Education, WITS

          This presentation examines motivations of teachers when bringing their classes to science centres and
          museums. Drawing on the international literature on visitor motivation, the presentation describes a recent
          study in which over 100 teachers relate their purpose and objectives when visiting four informal learning
          institutions in Gauteng. The study involved interviewing teachers accompanying their classes on the visit.
          Findings indicate that while teachers espoused motivations for the visit mainly relate to curricular and
          educational goals, they carried out limited preparation and follow-up which would enable their students to
          gain the most from the visit. More intensive interviews with five teachers revealed that they had multiple
          purposes for their visit, including the curriculum, entertainment/edutainment, and relating to possible
          careers for the students. However, these teachers tended to play down the ‘day out’ aspect of the visit. All
          of the 15 learners interviewed about the purpose of their visit had differing ideas from those of their
          teachers. The paper suggests that teachers need to ensure that students are clear about visit purposes,
          and that science centres need to consider teachers’ motivations for visits when planning exhibitions.

Session 7 - Best Practice at Science Centres
Chair     Gilbert Lekwe

23        Using worksheets during a tour of a biology exhibition – are they effective?
          Eunice Nyamupangedengu & Anthony Lelliott
          Marang Centre for Maths Science Education, WITS

          This study examined the usage and effectiveness of worksheets during a tour of a biology exhibition.
          Worksheets are frequently used by teachers and museum educators during museum fieldtrips. However,
          despite their frequent use a survey of the literature on out-of-school learning shows that there are
          conflicting opinions on the worksheets role and usefulness. Some researchers say that worksheets are
          useful as they support learning while others have condemned the use of worksheets arguing that they are
          problematic and restrict learning. Still others say there is no apparent differences in learning between
          children who are given worksheets and those who are not. In an attempt to determine the effectiveness of

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          worksheets usage during a museum fieldtrip, I observed 11 groups of learners as they toured a biology
          exhibition with the aim of finding out how they were using worksheets. I also recorded the groups’
          conversations to find out if there was any evidence of learning in the learners’ talk initiated by the use of
          worksheets. The observations show that learners use worksheets in different ways and what teachers say
          in their introductory instructions on how to use the worksheet is important. Analysis of conversations also
          showed that the conversations of all the groups that used the worksheets reflected meaningful and active
          engagement by the learners. Consequently, we concluded that the effectiveness of worksheets as
          instruments for facilitating learning can not be dismissed. Recommendations have therefore been made on
          how to improve the effectiveness of worksheet use during museum field trips.

24        The role of Science Festivals as part of the activities at Science Centres.
          Vera Adams
          Scifest Africa

          A science festival is a unique vehicle that is able to bridge the gap between science learning in formal and
          informal settings. It can attract an audience that may never go to a science centre or a museum by placing
          activities in appropriate places or using some of the resources in a different context. Scientists are put into
          direct contact with the public and it also provides and open-ended experience to the visitor who can dictate
          which direction it can go. Since 1997, Scifest Africa has provided an opportunity for the general public to
          experience science outside the classroom in a fun and informative way, changing misconceptions about
          science and assisting youth about to embark on a career choice to make informed decisions. Science
          centres tend to focus mainly on curriculum based content aimed at learners and educators, whereas the
          science festival explores all aspects of science and is aimed at the whole family. By hosting a science
          festival as part of the activities of a science centre, visitors will be provided with a holistic experience
          enhancing visitor participation and performance, as well as providing career education in general. The
          close interaction between scientists and the public will also improve the level of science communication in
          South Africa, currently a challenge for Africa.

25        Outreach efforts at IUCAA : What is possible with a small team?"
          Samir Dhurde,
          IUCCA, Pune Univ. Campus, India

          At "Muktangan Vidnyan Shodhika" (Free Playground for Science Exploration) - the IUCAA Science Centre,
          our team belives that Science Centres need to become places of inspiration for students to appreciate the
          Science around them everyday and to enable them to do something scientific without going too much out
          of their way. We use the Do-It-Yourself method for this rather than static exhibits. A multitude of low-cost
          teaching aids related to Physics, Astronomy etc. are developed and popularised in vernacular, to all
          corners they can reach. Our weekly workshops target students, teachers, volunteers and amateur
          astronomers. With these we incite regular continued participation rather than a single visit. Especially in the
          International Year of Astronomy a low-cost telescope and a spectroscope - basic tools of astronomy have
          been popularised. Teacher / Volunteer associates have been trained to use our mobile planetaria
          independently, resulting in shows for more than 100,000 kids over the past year. I would like to highlight a
          few of the activities of our team of five (and many many friends) and share / discuss ideas with anyone

Session 8 - Best Practice at Science Centres
Chair     Eliza Fraser

26        Inspiring Northern Cape Learners through the SKA Project
          Marion West

          Inspiring Northern Cape Learners through the SKA Project in South Africa wins the bid for the Square
          Kilometre Array (SKA) then the Northern Cape is where the core site for this instrument will be. The Karoo
          Array Telescope (MeerKAT), which will be 1% of the SKA, will be built in the Northern Cape and will be a
          world class radio telescope in its own right. Thus it is crucial that learners in the Northern Cape are made
          aware of the opportunities that are unfolding in their province in terms of careers in science, engineering
          and technology (SET). I have been exhibiting for several years for the SKA at the Kimberley National
          Science Week, alerting learners to the opportunities that are available to them in terms of careers in the
          areas of civil, mechanical and electronic engineering, computer science and astronomy, if they are good at
          maths and science, and continue to study in these fields. I have developed and used various different
          materials and techniques to draw learners into the excitement of studying in the largest laboratory ever, the
          universe. In this presentation I will use interactive audience participation to illustrate ways of encouraging
          learners to engage in discussion of the opportunities offered through the SKA programme, for example:
          grabbing the attention of learners drifting through the exhibition hall conveying passion and interest for the
          subject matter being presented communicating a genuine interest in the learners themselves using

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          language that addresses learners at their level attractive and colourful displays hands-on exhibits I will also
          discuss ways of making science exhibitions more attractive and user-friendly.

27        “Green Living” - Play and Learn!
          Helga Nordhoff

          Lessons learnt during the development of an educational game.All of us should occasionally look at our
          daily habits and how we use the resources available to us to support our lifestyles. A webquest was
          designed for a group of 42 grade 12 learners to assist them to explore the local issues around sustainable
          living. The learners were divided into 4 groups: energy, transport, waste and water. Each group had to
          prepare a board game through which players will learn about the current issues under their specific topic,
          particularly in South Africa. The four board games should have the same structure and will be played
          according to the same rules. This paper will discuss the issues experienced during the information
          gathering phase and during the re-design of one of the four games to produce a usable, educational
          resource. From the feedback of the learners that developed the game it is clear that most learners found
          information about their topic that was new to them. They also say that they now have a better
          understanding of what "living green" means and they realise that many resources are limited.

28        Marketing on a shoe string
          Jani de Bruin
          MTN Sciencentre

          Come and listen to tried and tested recipes for cooking up a storm and getting your science centre noticed
          by schools, learners, sponsors, decision makers… just about anyone! The MTN Sciencentre, now in its
          ninth-year of operation, is open 363 days a year and hence has a variety of target markets to consider.
          Through plenty of sessions in ‘the kitchen’, the Sciencentre has developed a few recipes and have
          generally implemented these methods of communication on an on-going basis. In this presentation these
          ‘recipes’ will be shared as well as discussion around other pertinent issues relating to marketing a science
          centre. This session is aimed to give practical take-home advice bearing in mind costs (we all know about
          shoe-string budgets!), sharing ideas on good short-cuts and more…. and of course to get your science
          centre cooking.

29        Science centers and attitudes of learners towards science
          Tholang Maqutu, CPUT
          Michael Ellis, MTN Sciencentre

          The lack of participation of learners in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) remains one of the
          daunting problems in the South African education system. It prevents the country from producing the
          critical mass of school leavers who pass physical science and mathematics that would enable them to
          pursue careers in SET. This research paper reports on a study in progress. The declining enrolments in
          SET could be better understood by viewing attitude and interest; the affective aspects of learners. Science
          centres are used as a strategy to stimulate students’ interest in SET. The purpose of the study is therefore
          to assess the impact of science centres on science subject choices at Further Education and Training
          (FET) level. This study seeks to answer the research question: What is the impact of science centres on
          grade 9 subject choices at FET level?

          Although such research is difficult to conduct, some studies have addressed the impact of a science centre
          experience on learners. One such study was done by Ontario science centre and it showed that many
          Canadian university students are encouraged to follow a career in science due to their experiences at a
          science centre.

          This study will compare data obtained from 2009 grade 9 learners from the four township schools divided
          into two main groups. Two schools will be used as the reference group while the remaining will be used as
          the experimental group. Data will be generated from questionnaires that compare learners career and
          study choices and their prior and post treatment behaviour.

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30        DESIGNation
          Fannie Matumba
          Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

          According to the White Paper on e-Education (2004:1), “A global revolution is currently taking place in
          education and training. It is driven by the changing nature of work, the realities of the information age, new
          global partnerships, and an awareness of the need for equal distribution of educational opportunities”. It is
          within this reasoning that the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre commits to a programme of promoting,
          developing, supporting, and sustaining technology education in all schools in the province.

          The final report of the task team for the Review of the Implementation of the National Curriculum Statement
          presented by the Minister of Education, released on October 2009 has serious implications to our
          education system and to technology education in particular. The number of learning areas in the
          Intermediate Phase should be officially reduced to six subjects, and should be reflected in the statements
          of learning and in the assessment requirements. It has been suggested that the six subjects in the
          Intermediate Phase to be: Home Language; First Additional Language; Mathematics; Natural Science
          (including aspects of Technology); Human and Social Science; and General Studies (consisting of
          ‘Creative Arts’, ‘Physical Education’ and ‘Religious and Moral Education’).

          Sci-Bono has put into place DESIGNation training project that involves technological processes theory and
          CAD training that will help to make teachers capable to deliver the technology curriculum successfully and
          at the standard envisaged by the NCS. This technology education project has taken cognizance of the
          diverse, complex and ubiquitous nature of technology. If the above recommendations are to be
          implemented next year, technology will only be fully (meaning all the learning outcomes and assessment
          standards) taught in the senior phase. It is therefore very important to design technological projects and
          programmes that will be easy to facilitate.

31        Public communication in the South African Nuclear industry: Necsa’s role
          Gilbert Lekwe

          The rather sensitive issue of nuclear activities remains one of the most serious public concerns. Hence the
          nuclear industry has to deal with public opinion and concerns adequately. In this paper the importance of
          the public opinion - and participation - in the process of policy making and program acceptance in the
          nuclear industry is going to be discussed. A number of factors that influence public opinion will be identified
          and some key aspects of the dynamics of interaction between the nuclear sector and the public will be

          South African nuclear Energy Cooperation (Necsa), has taken an initiative in order to engage the public
          about the nuclear activities at Necsa as well as in the whole country and the world at large. Some activities
          regarding the above are discussed.

Session 9 - Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other
science centres

Chair     Terry Hutter

32        Bringing Chemistry in from the Cold!
          Derek Fish, UniZul
          John Crossland, MTN Sciencentre

          Science Centres around the world typically focus on Physics, to the detriment of Chemistry (and the natural
          sciences). The reality is, though, that there are more jobs for Chemists than Physicists in South Africa. But
          Chemistry poses unique challenges in terms of safety, consumables cost, “resettability” and understanding.
          While Physics shows mostly deal with discreet topics (like sound, light etc), there exists a general
          phenomenon known as “The Chemistry Show”. While greatly entertaining, this is often too broad to be
          understood and sacrifices education for entertainment. This paper proposes a radical rethink of “The
          Chemistry Show” to bring it in line with both the principles and the content espoused by the new NCS
          syllabus for schools. This show will attempt to embrace the joint notions of conceptual coherence and
          conceptual progression as being essential to understanding. In addition, the latest ideas in Chemistry
          Education will be built into the shows to ensure that they present Chemistry at all three levels, i.e. the:-
          macro (visible and experiential – what we see, hear, smell, touch etc.)- micro (molecular dynamics – what
          goes on at molecular level)- symbolic (chemical equations – what we write) Ideas will also be discussed in
          terms of bringing Chemistry into workshops and exhibits in Science Centres.

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33        Science fiction - friend or foe to public engagement with science
          Michael Ellis
          MTN Sciencentre
          Fiction influences society's view and understanding of science. One only needs to look at the impact that
          programs such as CSI have had on enrolment figures to university forensic courses or how fiction set the
          stage for the cloning debate in the United Kingdom. Does this fictional pseudoscience have a role to play in
          developing rational modes of inquiry? And is it possible for science centres to play a role in this process?
          Science centres around the world do in fact use science fiction as a platform to stimulate science
          engagement. This can range from the use of films such as Star Wars to engage visitors in astronomy or the
          use of Dejavu and Back to the Future to investigate time travel and relativity. Recently the film Angels and
          Demons has been used by CERN to engage the public in talks on antimatter. We assessed visitor interest
          in sci-fi films and identified some of the misconceptions they held due to these films. We then ran a
          program that enabled us to use sci-fi in a science centre context by raising questions through fiction and
          discussing science controversies. Our presentation will discuss our findings from this program and suggest
          future developments.

34        Kom, Laat ons blom by my korner”
          Sam Rametse, (presented by Anacletta Koloko)

          There a number of reasons why we have a shortage of Astronomers in South Africa and with the Meerkat
          and possibly the SKA being build in South Africa, We have a very big challenge ahead of us. But unlike
          Safa with Bafana Bafana, we don't have a lot of capital to splash around; we have to be innovative in our
          thinking. Astronomy research facilities by nature have to be located as far possible from the communities.
          Lately most observatories have established visitor's centres or science centres to engage the communities
          on the astronomy and science research they conduct. In trying to minimise the cost and time of visiting our
          observatory especially among township communities, HartRAO together with SAASTA established
          Astronomy Corners in the township libraries. This talk will highlight the need and the importance of
          establishing science advancement hubs in the communities.

Session 10 - Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other
science centres

Chair     Tony Lelliott

35        Progressing a National Network of Science Centres
          Dan Archer & Grahame Lindop

          In 2004, the Department of Science and Technology commissioned Ulwazi to undertake a feasibility study
          for a proposed National Network of Science Centres. Over the last five years and in support of education
          and tourism development, Ulwazi has participated in developing business plans for a number of science
          centres and other interactive experiences, including the proposed Galeshewe Science Centre (2009 for Sol
          Plaatje Municipality), Cape Town Planetarium Digital Upgrade (2008 for Iziko Museums), Taung Skull
          World Heritage Site (2008 for North West Agriculture, Conservation and Environment), and Fundza Village
          of Discovery (2006 for Mbombela Municipality). Ulwazi continues to work with several clients with the aim
          of bringing these plans to fruition.     The authors propose to share with conference delegates the
          experiences and lessons that Ulwazi has learnt from these projects, both positive and negative, with a view
          to proposing and discussing how such projects can be implemented in South Africa to assist in the
          developing the national network of science centres and creating a science culture, with its associated
          socio-economic benefits.

36        Does South Africa need another National Competition in Science and
          Anitha Ramsuran
          Innovation Fund, NRF

          This paper presents a critical analysis of various competitions both nationally and regionally that is offered
          in the science and technology space in South Africa. It provides a rationale of why competitions are chosen
          as a mechanism for science advancement. It uses as analytical constructs the focus of the competitions,
          target audience, reach, potential for skill development, development process, potential impact, delivery
          model, accessibility of the competition, and limitations of the competitions. The sample is drawn from all
          national competitions and regional competitions offered by organisations and departments and include: the
          National Science Olympiad, Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, SAASTE, MinQuiz, Blue IQ Smart Young
          Mindz Competition and AMESA. The paper also proposes how the envisaged National Innovation

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          Competition for Learner Entrepreneurs that takes place in 2010 intends to enhance what is offered in the
          science competition environment. The paper concludes that the various competitions has a specific role to
          play in a particular niches in the science and technology space; that there is limited synergies in the system
          regarding competitions; that some competitions have the potential to enhance existing competitions and
          that competitions as a mechanism for science advancement in South Africa is limited to advantaged
          learners from predominantly advantaged schools.

37        Innovation and Entrepreneurship – A delivery model for South African Schools
          Teboho Seseng & Hendrick Tshitabane,
          Innovation Fund, NRF

          This paper explores various delivery models of innovation and entrepreneurship in developed and
          developing countries and proposes a rationale for a delivery model suitable for South African schools
          through an innovation programme titled – the National Innovation Competition for Learner Entrepreneurs
          (NICLE). The model proposes a five pronged approach and the programme has rolled out in two phases of
          the model. In the last year NICLE visited a number of schools in the provinces delivering phase two of the
          proposed model. This paper shares the findings of the pilot phase and phase 2 of the delivery approach-
          travelling exhibits to schools. To date 42 schools in four provinces and about 20 000 learners were
          exposed to the program. Since schools are only visited once in the programme, effective delivery meant
          seeking mechanisms that should not negate realities on the ground. The findings in this paper illustrates
          that an innovation and entrepreneurship culture is not entrenched in the schooling system and pedagogical
          tools and new methodologies for teaching innovation and entrepreneurship needs to become part of the
          discourse around teacher development and support.

Session 11 - Successful Innovative Programmes that are worth replicating at other
science centres

Chair     Anitha Ramsuran

38        Davy Dragons Guide to the Night Sky.
          Theo Ferreira

          What can Iziko Planetarium present that’s different, interesting and possibly bring in new audiences? What
          are our strengths and how can we compete with the tempting offerings presented at shopping malls, the
          lure of a Playstation or XBox, the magic of an ipod, cell phone or television and countless other
          possibilities, and still survive? Doesn’t’ this all sound just too familiar? Iziko Planetarium had been running
          an interactive children’s presentation called The Twinkle show for a number of years. The content varied
          slightly, but the format was basically the same. To inject new life into our presentations for children on
          weekends our graphic designer Margie Walter proposed a new format, where the presenter interacts with a
          pre-recorded character Davy Dragon. Davy was already relatively well known as he had featured in a
          series of pre-recorded presentations run at the planetarium The resulting increase in visitor numbers has
          been impressive; something is working, and a show which we considered cancelling has now become our
          most popular presentation, running to full houses on a regular basis. Not only have the audiences been
          enjoying the experience, but the presenters are having fun. Here is a small sample of what is on offer.
          Would this work in your Science Center, or even in a normal classroom environment?

39        Awesome AIDS Odyssey
          Geraldine Genevive Lazarus & Diane Stacey Naidoo

          Last year we presented an “aids awareness” paper at the 11th Annual SAASTEC Conference where we
          animated and highlighted the science behind the aids virus, general myths, effects and prevention of the
          epidemic. Since then the show has been presented at the Unizul science centre, Sci-fest Africa and at the
          national aids conference. After the shows we handed out surveys and questionnaires to the audiences
          many of whom where teachers, primary and secondary school learners. We have only received positive
          feedback about our presentation and some requests from people who wish to implement the program at
          their science centres and schools. With every science show i am humbled at the success and response of
          our attempt at an aids awareness program which is still in its development stages. The show has improved
          immensely from the input of our audience and the latest statistics provided from the Africa research centre
          which is located at the epicentre of the aids epidemic. We liaise with many university staff and scientists to
          deliver a show covering all aspects of the aids epidemic and life skills. Briefly the audience is told they will
          be shrink to enter the blood of an hiv infected person. The eccentric and nutty professor takes the audience
          on a humorous yet very educational journey. This year the insightful Indian professor is back to knock the
          audience off off their seats with laughter, science and “not-so-funny” jokes. Graham walker, a PhD
          candidate from the Australian national university who has greatly influenced the structuring of the show and

                                            12th SAASTEC Conference Report
          its contents is investigating how science shows and theatre, work to engage and educate people on
          combating the HIV AIDS.

40        Revamping an existing science centre: the 3P approach
          Allison Ruiters, Old Mutual-MTN Sciencentre
          Derek Fish, UniZul
          The revamp of the Old Mutual-MTN Sciencentre (OM-MTN SC), first opened in 2002, has been under
          discussion for years, with many expectations raised and then thwarted, when it was continuously delayed.
          Finally, in 2009, the plans for the revamp of this science centre were finalised, and the project finally

          This project was identified as an impetus for holistic change to a centre that, although enjoying both school
          and public audiences, was not operating to its full potential. The project team approached this with the
          concern that revamps wholly concentrate on the physical facilities, and whilst this results in an immediate
          interest, this would not be sustainable. For this (and any science centre to be successful), this was an
          opportunity for the right balance to be struck between the 3Ps – Physical facilities, People and

          This report will endeavor to cover various aspects of the OM-MTN SC revamp including the process, the
          compromises, the positive and negative aspects, and finally Phase 1’s end product.

41        Serious about Fun: Holiday Programmes at Science Centres
          Rudi Horak

          Most Science Centres in South Africa, as well as abroad are offering special holiday programmes and
          workshops for the young. These special events are organized around a theme with different activities that
          will hopefully generate excitement for a greater understanding and appreciation of science in general.
          These holiday activities are also advertised beforehand which require pre-bookings for a limited audience.
          This paper will discuss the success of different approaches of such programmes and will share
          experiences of a range of activities that have been part of the Sci-Enza “Science is Fun” holiday
          programmes since 1999. The contributions towards the public understanding of science and the long-term
          effects on students who took part in the activities while still at school will be addressed.

42        IYA Langa Astronomy Project: Towards a model for communicating astronomy to
          a whole community
          Sivuyile Manxoyi

          Is it possible to communicate astronomy to a whole community? How would one evaluate the effectiveness
          and impact of such an intervention? Astronomy has traditionally been communicated via lectures,
          presentations, workshops, exhibitions, media articles and stargazing. This presentation firstly reflects on an
          experience geared towards focusing the above mentioned modes of communicating astronomy in one
          location, a township called Langa (meaning the Sun in Nguni Languages). Secondly a further appraisal of
          creative methods of engagement such as street astronomy, use of applied astronomy related technology,
          astronomy clubs and use of sci-fiction and popular movies is performed. Finally, this presentation assesses
          the possibility of using this approach for communicating other disciplines of science.

43        Preparing a Major Exhibition: Challenges, Pitfalls and Lessons not yet Learnt
          Michael Peter & Stuart Hopwood,
          Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

          Preparing a Major Exhibition: Challenges, Pitfalls and Lessons not yet Learnt A look at ‘Laduma: The
          Science of Soccer’ and how Sci-Bono has prepared for 2010

          The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is planning a 2010 Soccer Exhibition titled ‘The Science of Soccer’. The
          primary purpose is to contribute towards the province’s and city’s 2010 programme and to use the event as
          a way to further promote interest in science and technology. This will feature an interactive exhibition of the
          educational and scientific aspects underlying the world’s most popular sport. The Science of Soccer
          project aims to translate the appeal and excitement around soccer into a format which develops an
          appreciation of the mathematics, science and technology behind the sport. In this way we aim to raise the
          profile of science and education within the context of the 2010 World Cup. This presentation will focus on
          the process that Sci-Bono embarked on, the challenges we encountered, the mistakes we made and the
          lessons that we are still learning. It would be useful to compare notes with those who may have embarked
          on similar ventures and those who may wish to in the future. And of course there will be quick preview of
          what to expect in the 2010 exhibition.

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Session 12 – General
Chair     Alfred Tsipa

44        Update – Sixth Science Centre World Congress
          Julie Cleverdon
          MTN Sciencentre

          The Sixth Science Centre World congress is an important event for all members of SAASTEC, for all
          Africans and for the rest of the World. In 2011 the MTN Sciencentre and SAASTEC will host this event in
          Cape Town and the world spotlight will fall on us. It is in the best interest that all details, developments and
          progress related to this event be shared with members of SAASTEC and all conference attendees. Julie
          Cleverdon, Director of the MTN Sciencentre, will update all present on outcomes of the most recent
          International Programmes Committee (6IPC) which took place in ECSITE in June as well all other logistical,
          marketing and other information relating to this congress. This will be followed by a question and answer

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1.        Speak to A Scientist
          Thandi O’Hagan
          Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

          KEEP UP TO DATE WITH RESEARCH IN AFRICA …. On the last Thursday evening of every month, the
          Sci-Bono Discovery Centre hosts a free science café. The Speak 2 a Scientist is a public event aimed at
          creating an informal learning space for all interested individuals from the age of 15 up. The primary goal of
          this programme is to create a platform between South African researchers and the general public.

          In 2008 Sci-Bono hosted one of these events. This year has seen a concerted effort to grow an audience
          through regular monthly talks. The poster highlights the 8 speakers of 2009. The event has been
          advertised by word of mouth and through email networking and its popularity is steadily growing. Our last
          event of the year, a premierè of the movie “The Ancient Astronomers of Timbuktu” was attended by over
          220 people. The audience comprised a wonderful mix of scientists, academics, journalists, artists and
          students. Next year we hope to use our relationship with the National Science & Technology Forum to
          bring award – winning researchers to the public.

          To join the Speak 2 a Scientist database, send an email to speak2ascientist@sci-bono.co.za
          To find out more about the programme contact Thandi O’Hagan at thandi@sci-bono.co.za

2.        Demystifying the idea that science is for the educated and elite
          Nondumiso Mntuyedwa,

          The emergency of a science communication field of study has given communication graduates without a
          scientific background an opportunity to experience science in a science centre environment. This has come
          with challenges and opportunities. The challenges have been getting acquainted to science concepts that
          enable the presenting and reporting of scientific information. Communicating science issues entails being
          able to be relevant to people at all levels and this is where a social science background will be effective.
          Therefore demystifying the idea that science is for the educated and elite by making it accessible and
          understandable to the public. Working in a science centre as a communicator is very challenging and
          interesting. Communicators in a science centre plays a major role because it is the voice of the science
          centre, making the public aware of scientific issues and how science centres create a positive image to the

3.        The perception of learners visiting Sci-Enza about Agricultural Sciences
          Boitumela Pitsi,

          The number of students enrolling for agricultural related degrees is decreasing in South Africa. This poses
          a threat to our research ability as a country because most experts in agricultural related fields are ageing.
          Most notably, learners are not aware of the role of agriculture and its importance as a science. This
          presents an opportunity to address agriculture as an important field of study and to evaluate the knowledge
          of school learners about the importance of agriculture and how other sciences relate to agriculture. This
          poster will provide information about the attitudes and knowledge of learners about agriculture and to
          further investigate what needs to be done by institutions to address this matter to improve the knowledge of
          learners about agriculture as a science.


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