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MeerKAT-SKA schools competition

Advice and events

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is calling on learners in Grades 4 to 11 to enter a competition aimed at raising awareness of South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. Laptops, printers, digital cameras and organised tours to their nearest astronomy observatory are up for grabs.

Africa and Australia-New Zealand are the only two bidders in the running to host this international telescope, which will be used to collect radio waves from space. The SKA will be a mega radio telescope, consisting of about 3 000 dish-shaped antennae spread over an area of over 3 000 kilometres. If Africa wins the bid, the core of the telescope will be constructed in Carnarvon in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape, with outlying telescope stations in other parts of South Africa as well as in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia.

Entry forms for the competition can be downloaded from the websites of the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) at http://www.saasta.ac.za/; South African SKA Project Office (SASPO) at http://www.ska.ac.za/ and Department of Science and Technology at www.dst.gov.za.

Entries marked “MeerKAT-SKA Schools Competition” may be posted to PO Box 1758, Pretoria, 0001, or delivered to SAASTA, Didacta Building, 211 Skinner Street, Pretoria. The competition closes on 31 March 2012. For more information about the competition, contact Anacletta Koloko at anacletta@saasta.ac.za or 012 392 9338, or visit www.saasta.ac.za, www.ska.ac.za or www.dst.gov.za.