National Science Week, led by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), takes place next week (30 July to 4 August 2012).

The events will be conducted in collaboration with higher education institutions, science centers, other government departments, non-governmental organisations and science councils, under the theme “The Role of Science and Technology in Economic Development”.

Activities will take place at more than 89 sites including science centres in the nine provinces.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, has encouraged parents, learners and teachers to make sure that learners visit a National Science Week site close to their homes.

“Science and technology are in everything that we do and their role in the economic development of a country often goes unnoticed. South Africans need to understand the extent to which science and technology have benefited the economy and encourage our youth to explore careers in these sectors and eventually add value to the economy,” she says.

National Science Week (NSW) 2012 aims to focus attention on the important role that science plays in people’s everyday lives.

The Department of Science and Technology, in collaboration with many other stakeholders and role players in the science system, uses NSW to:

* Contribute to the development of a society that values and appreciates science, engineering and technology (SET);

* Provide a platform for scientists to engage with each other and with the non-scientific community;

* Promote partnership between the media and scientists;

* Profile the work of the Department, including its priorities; and

* Attract learners to SET-based careers.