CUT and UFS join national scientists in commemoration of Science Week

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CUT and UFS join national scientists in commemoration of Science Week

Aspiring scientists: Grade 9,10 and 11 learners from Kgololosego Secondary School in Dealesville fascinated by wires during programming wireless sensors demonstration bootcamp. The bootcamp was spearheaded by Prof. Masinde, Head of the IT department and trainers: Mr Akanbi Adeyinka, Lecturer in the department as well as Mr Jason Brown, Assistant Lecturer.

The Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) in partnership with the University of Free State took it to local communities to join millions of scientists across the country in commemoration of the National Science Week held from 29 July to 02 August 2019.

National Science Week (NSW), an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), is an annual celebration of science, engineering and technology, which seeks to share scientific knowledge and research, exhibitions and demonstrations of science-based activities to create a society that is knowledgeable of the value of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) in the everyday lives.

Local communities, learners and teachers from schools around the province attended bootcamp and workshop where exhibitions, demonstrations and presentations by key stakeholders in Free State were shared. This year’s theme, “Facing the harsh realities of Climate Change”, tackled the current and future challenges faced due to climate change.

In their discussions, the panel unpacked topics such as “Embracing Internet of Things (IoT)" in facing the harsh realities of climate change, addressed the relationship between climate change, natural disasters (floods, droughts and wildfires), underground water resource and the potential of Artificial Intelligence technologies in monitoring and predicting climate changes, to create awareness on the impact of climate change on water resources particularly surface and groundwater. The effect of Artificial Intelligence as a useful tool for assessing and predicting the impact of climate change on groundwater resources was also discussed.

“The Impact of climate change on water resources has exacerbated in recent times, and climate change has affected surface and groundwater adversely. Due to the unseen nature of groundwater, investigating the impact of climate becomes a challenge; hence, Artificial Intelligence is an important tool for predicting, assessing and monitoring the impact of climate change on water resources. The IoT can proffer solution for effective monitoring and forewarning in order to prevent the negative impact of climate change on water resources,” said Prof. Muthoni Masinde, Head of Department: Information Technology.

Other topics that were discussed in different areas of the province are: A demonstration of the Adaptive Environmental Management System for Lejweleputswa District, spearheaded by Ms Mpho  Mbele, IT lecturer in Welkom Campus and Sensor Programming, climate change vulnerability and adaptation by Women in informal Settlements workshop that was presented in Sesotho by Ms Palesa Ntho to the community of Qwaqwa in UFS Qwaqwa campus.

Learners from Metsimaphodi Secondary school in Dewetsdorp attending the Sensor Programming Boot Camp where they were introduced to wireless sensors programming. The objective of this activity is to teach them to appreciate the role of wireless sensors in measuring and plotting various climate change parameters such as temperature and CO2.

Local communities living near mine dumps in Lejweleputswa District attending a workshop on Environmental Management System. The workshop was spearheaded by Ms Mpho Mbele, lecturer in the IT Department. Ms Mbele demonstrated a mobile phone-based environmental management system that integrates scientific and indigenous approaches to pollution monitoring, a research study that she conducted in her master’s studies.

Uploaded: 07 August 2019
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