The Mondi Science Week in the town of Piet-Retief in the Mpumalanga Province was a remarkable and enriching experience for all involved. Mondi organizes this event with the purpose of nurturing a spirit of inquiry, critical thinking, and problem-solving – skills that are invaluable regardless of the career path chosen. The event is extremely popular, drawing thousands of learners, teachers and the public where they then engage with different companies and institutes. Throughout the week, school learners and teachers were given the opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments, interactive workshops, and captivating presentations. These activities were designed to spark curiosity and ignite a passion for science among young minds. From exploring chemical reactions to delving into the mysteries of physics, the students were immersed in a world of discovery.

This year the CPHB outreach team at FABI again participated in Science Week, after a three-year absence due to the COVID pandemic. The team was led by Vinolia Danki, and the rest of the team included Tjitjila Makhura, Andile Matabata, Vaylen Hlaka, and Ntombizodwa Maduna.

The participation of the outreach team was one of the highlights of the event. During the week, the team members shared their knowledge and experiences, shedding light on the diverse fields of science and the potential career paths within them. This interaction was instrumental in bridging the gap between theoretical classroom learning and real-world applications of science. The team also conducted and demonstrated a variety of hands-on experiments that illustrated fundamental concepts in natural and physical sciences.

The event not only focused on traditional scientific disciplines but also highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary approaches. Students were encouraged to see how science intersects with technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), emphasising the role of innovation in shaping the future. By stepping outside their comfort zones, the participating schools discovered that science is not just a subject but a gateway to endless possibilities.

As the week drew to a close, it was evident that the Mondi Science Week had left a lasting impact on both students and educators. The event sparked a newfound enthusiasm for science and an appreciation for its role in shaping the world. It served as a reminder that learning extends beyond the classroom and that science is all around us, waiting to be explored.

In the years to come, it is hoped that Science Week will continue to inspire and empower the youth of South Africa, propelling them towards a future driven by curiosity, innovation, and a passion for science.