ROSATOM’s Corporate Academy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s nuclear energy power provider Rosatom, held a Science Olympiad in South Africa on the 14th of October 2016. Over 360 students from nine schools across Gauteng and the Western Cape participated in the Olympiad which was aimed at celebrating and rewarding excellence in the field of science.
A series of award ceremonies and lectures took place at each of the schools the following week. Professor Alexander Nakhabov of Russia's prestigious National Research Nuclear University (MEPhl), delivered a number of lectures which focused on nuclear education in Russia and the specificities and safety aspects of Russian nuclear technologies.
ROSATOM views education as a vital aspect of its collaboration with potential partner countries and therefore plays an active role in the development of South African educational system. Thus, the company grants students scholarships, holds competitions with trips to Russia as main prizes and gives local universities the equipment needed to conduct laboratory tests. Each year the Russian Federation offers ten scholarships to South African students to study a nuclear career of their choice at one of its world renowned universities in Russia, noted Aleksey Ponomarenko, Director of ROSATOM’s Corporate Academy international programs center. “This Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about the opportunity to study in Russia and explain the process of how they go about applying.”
Ponomarenko concluded that: “These young students are our future, and it will be the job of these young minds to use science to improve the world, there is so much to still to learn about the possibilities of nuclear energy. I hope that the presentations over the past week fostered some excitement towards the sciences. Hopefully one day in the near future we will be welcoming them to one of our top universities in Russia to learn more about this fascinating field.”
Earlier this year ROSATOM partnered with the South African Young Nuclear Professional Society (SAYNPS) to refurbish and equip the science laboratory at Bothabelo High School (Brits, North West Province). The company invested over R100 000 in providing the no-fees school with critical laboratory and basic school equipment such as chairs, desks and stationary, needed to carry out the experiments necessary to put in practise the theory of their matric syllabus. Staff from ROSATOM and members of SAYNPS also committed their time by painting and refurbishing the school.