Rand Tutorial College is through to NSS debate final

Rand Tutorial College debate team will represent Gauteng in the national finals.

 

The search to find South Africa’s best high school science debating team is reaching its culmination with Rand Tutorial College representing Gauteng in the national finals on 6 October.

The school in Observatory has been selected from Gauteng’s top 10 schools which contested the provincial round of the annual National Schools Debates Competition held by the South African Agency for Science and Development.

Crawford College Pretoria finished second and Mondeor High School placed third.

“There are no words to describe the honour of representing Gauteng and the satisfaction of the results of hard work,” said the Rand Tutorial College science debating team.

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“The information we got from the competition is mind-blowing and is of great importance. A lot has been learned through this competition, making us as learners more interested in science and technology. We now see ourselves taking over the science world by storm.”

Crawford College Pretoria debating team member Yasmeen Geldenhuys said, “The competition has been an incredible experience that has unlocked a whole new love of science for me.

“It has brought about new thinking and new ideas that I will use for the rest of my life.”

The Mondeor High School team said the provincial round of the competition involved considerable research into the Square Kilometre Array – the project in which South Africa plays a leading role to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope and on which the debate in the provincial round was based.

“We have learned how to improve our future through science. We are now better skilled public speakers and have more interest in science as a career,” said the Mondeor team.

Conceived and hosted by the agency, a business unit of the National Research Foundation, the science debating programme seeks to foster the confidence and capability for high school children to speak about science.

“The National Schools Debates is a unique and valuable platform where young minds have an opportunity to debate interesting scientific questions and, in the process, learn about the incredible science that is being done in South Africa,” said Michael Ellis, manager of science communication for the agency.

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The competition, said Ellis, aims to stimulate interest among high school children between grades nine to 11 to encourage them to study towards careers in science, engineering and technology and to develop critical thinking skills by debating on various scientific topics.

“The competition is also an enjoyable and intellectually rewarding way to meet new people, broaden horizons and share a love of scientific debate.”

The first step on the road to the finals was taken at provincial workshops in all nine provinces on 5 August.

Mini debates were held to identify the best performing schools in all nine provinces, with the top 10 going through to the competition’s provincial finals to determine the top school from each province that will advance to the national finals to compete against other provincial winners.

Edited by Stacey Woensdregt

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