Brilliants Programme students go to astro-tourism sites

The NSTF Brilliants Programme recognises 18 first-year students (a male and female from each province) studying in the science, medicine and engineering fields. These students have received top marks in mathematics and physical science in the National Senior Certificate Examinations last year. (This year there are 20 students.)

Meet brilliance at the awards dinner: This year, the initiative is sponsored by the Fuchs Foundation and the astro-tour by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Meet the brilliants students at the awards.

Educational tour: The selected Brilliants students are taken on an educational tour annually. This year they are going to the SKA South Africa and South African Large Telescope (SALT) sites. Aligned with the United Nation’s theme ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’ (#IY2017), the tour consists of visits to major astro-tourism sites in the Northern Cape – SKA radiotelescope site in Carnavon and the South African Large Telescope (SALT) in Sutherland. There will be stargazing, astronomy-themed lectures and career and study advice. There will also be an ‘Introduction to Big Data’ workshop with Google.

About the Brilliants Programme: This is one of two NSTF Youth outreach programmes run in conjunction with the NSTF-South32 Awards. It recognises future innovators of our nation and exposes them to the SET community, as well as studies and careers in the sciences, medicine and engineering. It has been running for more than 12 years now. It includes assistance in accessing bursaries and a motivational programme where students are inspired and given advice around life skills, studies, and future careers.

Top-up bursaries: Last year, the Minister of Science and Technology awarded 7 students top-up bursaries for first-year studies (when bursaries are usually not awarded). Top-up bursaries will continue to be awarded this year.