National Science Week

Sibo and the rainbow

Hey guys!

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays and got to do some cool things. I can’t believe that they flew by so fast. Almost as fast as that fancy fast car I was telling you all about last week.

Much as I am sad that holidays have ended, I’m always pleased to go back to school.

I found out that it is National Science Week in the first week of August (1-7th). This is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and there will be all sorts of exciting activities going on around the country during this week.

Obviously at places like Sci-Bono Discovery Centre they have whole programs organised. Maybe you should ask your teacher to check out what is going on – or you can go to their website and see for yourself.

There will also be lots of events and expos at shopping malls and other interesting places. Keep an eye out.

This year the theme is International Year of Light and light-based technologies.  I know we spoke a bit about light several blogs ago.  We always tend to think that dear old Eskom is responsible for the light – the ones you turn on and off – but there is just so much more to light than the electricity stuff.

Have you ever thought about natural light – for example light in nature?

Just think about one of the most frequent visual displays of light in nature… sunsets! Sunsets are a result of refraction. In astronomy, sunset is the point when the trailing edge of the Sun’s sphere disappears below the horizon. The brilliant array of colours that appear in the sky during sunset are created by scattered airborne particles passing through rays of white sunlight travelling through the atmosphere. Because the evening air contains more particles than morning air (okay – this is pollution we are talking about), sunsets are typically more radiantly coloured than sunrises.

Then there are rainbows… a rainbow is a beautiful natural phenomenon that occurs when drops of rainwater meet sunlight. The multi-coloured arch is produced by a major process called refraction, or the “bending” of light.

And let’s face it – all our food grows because of light. Without it – the cupboards would be bare.

If you can think of other sources of light… let me know.


Cool word for the week: Array

Meaning: selection, collection, display, range

Example: My Dad has a wonderful array of books – I think he has just a book on about every topic one could think of.

Science Centres and rocket cars


Nanogirl Sibo 001I was so lucky the other day – my Dad took me to visit the big science centre in Jozi. It’s called Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and it’s actually in Newtown. I’d been bugging our teacher to take our class for ages, but somehow there never seems to be the time and it’s quite a mission to organise outings, I know that.

Dad had the day off and decided we should do something interesting. We invited Mum to come along too, but she said she’d rather watch paint dry that have to fiddle with all sorts of sciency stuff. She missed out big time!

Sjoe! That place is seriously cool. There is so much stuff to do. I learnt such a lot just playing with the exhibits. Some of the stuff Dad had to explain to me, and if he did not know, there were very helpful people who you could ask.

We also went to a science show called “Bloodhound: an engineering adventure”. Wow! That was beyond awesome. Even Dad was impressed.

They told us about a project that is happening in Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape. The BLOODHOUND SSC. You are probably wondering what SSC stands for… Supersonic car. This car, that looks more like a rocket, is supersonic because it is designed to go the speed of sound – in this case just over 1600 km per hour. But even though it looks like a rocket, it’s a car because it has four wheels and the person driving it has full control. Obviously – not just anybody can drive such a creation.

What’s really cool about this project, apart from the fact that they are going to drive so fast, is that the people who are in charge of the whole thing are very keen to create an interest in maths, science and engineering amongst the kids in South Africa. They also have very awesome workshops that they do in schools.

The science show was all about rockets and going fast. Things whizzed, fizzed and banged. It was wonderful.

Anybody can go to Sci-Bono – it does not cost that much to get in – less than the movies and its much more fun. And did you know there are actually lots of science centres in South Africa – all over the place. They are not all as big as Sci-Bono but I bet they are really cool too.

Have fun.


Visit this website if you want to find out more about the BLOODHOUND SSC  project, or do some cool stuff at home or at school .

This picture is at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. This is a model replica of the Bloodhound car. Cool hey!


By the way – if you want to know more about science centres you can visit the SAASTEC website or you can read the latest newsletter about all the exciting things that go on at the science centres around South Africa.