The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) and the South African Schools Debating Board (SASDB) entered into a partnership creating opportunities for learners from around the country to engage, through the vehicle of debating, with high-level information and ideas around Biotechnology and themes related to the International Year of Planet Earth 2007 - 2009.
Tournaments aimed at stimulating interest amongst learners to study towards careers in science, engineering and technology (SET). This initiative covered 10 broad, societally relevant and multidisciplinary themes: health, climate, groundwater, ocean, soils, deep Earth, megacities, hazards, resources, and life
. All costs associated with transport, accommodation, etc. were covered by the project.
This fully-funded programme involved 10 schools in every province
. The programme consisted of one-day training workshops for all involved schools, including basic training on the style of debating and how to use the information packs they received. Information packs gave detailed information and included, for the use of educators, links to curricula in specific learning areas.
Debating gives learners an opportunity to develop their research, critical thinking and information literacy skills, as well as their ability to work as a team to present logical, clear arguments. Furtherinformation available on www.saasta.ac.za/schoolsdeb/index