Pilot Project




National Research Foundation NRF South African Agency for Science & Technology Advancement SAASTA


 PURPOSE OF NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK    National science awareness campaign

 THEME    “The Role of Science in Economic Development” showcasing the importance of science in peoples’ daily lives.

Science Week Posters

Main Challenges   

Space   Climate Change   Human & Social Dynamics   Energy security   Farmer to farmer


Energy Security   Indigenous Knowledge   Geographic Advantage/knowledge   Science is fun   Science is everywhere  

Target Participants   

National Science Week should be a public event

New direction for NSW

 More inclusive   Awareness for all people of South Africa   Science is fun   Science is everywhere


In poor communities, a constant effort is expended in obtaining fuel for cooking.

Wood is gathered, paraffin etc. is purchased where finances allow. Alternative energy sources are virtually unknown. Often most of the women in severely marginalised communities are illiterate, and they have no possibility of finding out about these technologies by their own effort.

The SHDC (Stanford Housing & Development Cooperative) performed research and  demonstrated a few energy saving technologies.

The program seeks to:

a. Continue to research and demonstrate cost effective energy saving technologies.

b. Train teams of people to go into every house/church in an area and engage with the women through demonstrations in their own language. Follow-up sessions are planned to ensure the continued use of alternative technologies.

c. Be able to duplicate these programmes by teaching others eg. by accommodating potential trainers from elsewhere in SA, advertising the project via every available type of media.

Target Groups

Low or no income men and women contribute by making energy balls, DIY solar stoves, etc. and benefit by not having to fetch wood or buy fuel daily. An enabling environment will be created at the communal centre where elementary first aid, fire safety, nutrition etc. will be included in the program, assisted by the social workers and local clinic who have already given their support and are willing to cooperate.


will take place in church/school halls, taverns, private homes in Stanford and Hermanus, Gansbaai, Tembelihle Tavern (Stanford), and wherever groups can be reached in the target communities.

1.1. Target participants

Target participants are mainly women, men welcome, as they are the main producers of meals for families and mainly people with minimum incomes or those struggling to make ends meet. The main thrust of the project is to show people how to save money on energy requirements for cooking, heating water.

Learners in higher grades could be target participants as they could learn the technology and take it back to their families, put some of the ideas into practice to the advantage of the family’s budget. 

1.2. Projected  number of participants to be reached during the week

It is hoped to reach 15 – 20 people at each of 10 demonstrations, plus those attending an open public day at Hermanus Magnetic Observatory where an exhibit will be installed.

1.3. Nature of activities

a. Demonstrate making of ‘Rikus’ Energy Balls’ – recycled newspaper & candlewax

b. Demonstrate cooking with Energy Balls in special stove designed for lower end of market and for use of the balls, as well as use of recycled tin stove for D.I.Y.

c. After 10 minutes of cooking, demonstrate use of ‘Wonderbox/haybox’ principle and use of blankets etc. to continue cooking process.

d. Demonstrate Solarstove.                


Mode or method to be used (e.g. exhibitions, seminars, public lectures e.t.c.)

Method to be used will be demonstrations to invited audiences given by two teams; Afrikaans and Xhosa teams of 2 people each. 

Objectives of the project:

*To bring science and technology to ordinary people, to show how this knowledge can benefit their everyday lives, the importance of the role of science in their lives.

*To be an effective and more user-friendly way of disseminating science and technology information.

(a) The programme aims to display a healthy balance of information, learning and fun.

(b) Optimum use of existing infrastructure will be prioritised.

(c) Application of resources should be cost effective and economically optimal.

(d) Maximum economic spillover could be generated ensuring optimum economic impact of the project, especially support of local learners to reach their parents.

As this is a mobile demonstration, there is no main site or venue. The two teams will be self-sufficient and be able to move to the daily venues. Outreach activities will include as many venues as time permits in the week long program. Hermanus and Gansbaai can both be included in the program.

5 Responses to “Pilot Project”

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    • Elma:

      Glad you enjoyed the post about the Pilot Project. Apologies for taking so long to reply but we are new at this medium! Have another look at the additions to the website, especially under Products and Blog.

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