Speech - Prize Giving Ceremony - Science Quest 2014
I am very pleased to be here today for the Prize Giving Ceremony of the first edition of a new activity of the RGSC, “Science Quest 2014”. This is yet another new project of the RGSC for our students in our quest for promoting and popularizing Science, Technology & Innovation as well as boosting Science Education.
But before I move on, let me inspire all of you my young friends by quoting the words of one of the world’s greatest scientist, Albert Einstein:
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to NOT stop questioning.”
Ladies and Gentlemen
Science Quest 2014
This new project forms part of our strategy to promote science and technology and through such activities we offer students the opportunity to investigate issues related to science and technology using scientific methods, and bring the best potential out of our young scientists.
The Science Quest 2014 project integrates, into one functional activity, virtually all of the skills and arts that are usually taught separately. When brought to completion, the project is an amalgamation of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, maths, statistics, ethics, logic, critical thinking, computer science, graphic arts, scientific methodology, self-learning of one or more technical fields, public speaking and defence in front of an experts panel.
It is, perhaps, one of the rare educational activities that allow students to teach themselves to take from the established information, what they need to discover something exciting and new, and to identify and choose the tools that they need to conduct and conclude their project.
Participation in activities such as the Science Quest 2014 is one sure way to build student confidence, self-esteem, and sense of achievement.
For this first edition of Science Quest, over 200 projects were received from all secondary schools in Mauritius. Since each team is composed of 4 students it implies that over 800 students have participated in this event. I am informed that the jury panel composed of professionals from the MIE, UOM, and UTM have screened the proposals and about 70 teams have been selected to participate in this national exhibition. Interestingly there is a fair distribution of projects in the 3 categories: Form 1-3, Form 4-5, and LV1-UV1.
Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre
The Rajiv Gandhi Science centre has been organising competitions, workshops, outreach programmes , including the Caravane de la science. Since July 2010, the Caravane de la Science has visited different regions of the country and nearly 50,000 students have participated in these science- related activities. These activities are meant to arouse the curiosity and interest of these students in Science and Technology. We are now implementing a project to extend the galleries and include new exhibits as well as construct a planetarium with the assistance of the Government of India.
I would like at this juncture to make an appeal to the staff and management of our schools to include a visit to the RGSC as part of their calendar of activities. This is a centre which has been built to promote Science and Technology to the general public but more specifically for our young children to inculcate in them the importance of Science and Technology in their everyday lives. This Centre belongs to you and you should make the most of its facilities. I am confident that many of you will take this message back in your schools and very soon we will have bus -loads of students visiting the centre and interacting with the staff of the centre.
I have no doubt we are doing the right thing by investing in others facilities which would make the centre even more attractive to our students. As I already mentioned the RGSC is being extended to provide for additional galleries and Exhibits which will certainly make your visit more interesting. We are also building a Planetarium in Pamplemousses which will certainly interest our young minds who are very keen on studying the stars and the planets. All these new developments are exciting and I must tell you I am also looking forward to these added features to the RGSC.
Dear students I wish to congratulate you all again for your participation in this project. I am sure with the usual support of my Colleague the Minister of Education and Human resources this event will attract the participation of more and more students in the years to come. We must also recognise the role of the supervising teacher in this process. So I extend my warmest congratulations to the teachers and rectors of the different participating schools for providing the necessary support and guidance to their students. Finally I wish to thank the members of the Jury Panel of this competition who I am sure have had a tough job in choosing the best projects.
Thank you for your attention.