CSIR Career Day inspires learners to explore STEM fields

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research ( CSIR) hosted 480 students for an industry-related Science and Technology Career Day as part of its continuing efforts to encourage engineering, science, technology and math (STEM) fields among the younger individuals.

Career Day, held yesterday at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria it was one of the events of National Science Week which is an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology that focuses on utilizing science and technology to ensure sustainable development and better living standards.

The CSIR Career Day aimed to motivate grade nine through 11 students from schools with low levels of education who are studying sciences and math as subjects.

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The annual celebration aims to share knowledge about technology and science by giving students the tools needed to make informed choices when deciding STEM career paths.

Students were exposed to various disciplines of science, like aeronautics, biotechnology, and asecohydrology.

In the event, CSIR researchers made use of the platform to present a variety of technology and activities based on science including demonstrations, experiments in science as well as motivational talks and presentations which aim to motivate students to pursue career opportunities in STEM.

I would like to stress the importance of entering the ICT sector, since there is a significant skill need in the present and I would like to encourage you to explore artificial intelligence as well as computer science and related subjects or courses related to technology so that you can avoid outsourcing these skills to businesses or individuals. added Thabang Kgarume. CSIR research scientist and mining engineer.

The technology industry is extremely wide and encompasses almost all. For instance, if you are a fan of games, you can make the field of gaming through becoming a professional gaming player and eventually representing SA on a global level.

South Africa is experiencing a massive shortage in ICT skills. According to research conducted recently there is a shortage of at about 70 % of ICT professionals. This is further made worse by the declining numbers of STEM graduates.

Justin Harrison, researcher at the CSIR National Laser Centre and PhD candidate, delivered an inspirational talk on the importance of knowing what career path to follow.

To be truthful, I never enjoyed maths as a subject during my time in high school until I met an individual at the local grocery store driving an elegant car. I asked him what he did for a living. His reply was: I’m the aeronautical engineer of my profession. I was fascinated by the term, I decided to tell myself that I would like to pursue a degree in aeronautics only to discover later that it requires a high level in math.

That was when my approach to maths changed, and from the day I began I devoted myself to studying with the hope that I would surely achieve my goal one day.

Harrison encouraged the students to put in the effort and be confident in their abilities, noting that over time nothing is the limit.

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