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 – see them here.)

The Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation sponsors the NSTF’s youth outreach programmes and, this year, the Square Kilometre Array SA (SKA) sponsored the astronomy tour. Take a look at the video from the SKA Brilliants Tour.

Motivational speakers programme: This programme was held on the morning of the NSTF Awards, 29 June 2016 in Gauteng. Its aim is to increase awareness of the importance of personal and professional development. The NSTF and the speakers encouraged the students to continue in their chosen field of studies and to find an appropriate science, engineering and technology (SET) career path.

The Brilliants students were exposed to role models. Following are some of the topics:

– Forget about finding your passion

– Soft skills that scientists and any graduate require

– Building your personal and career profile while being a student

– 7 habits of success at university

Dr Riaan Els, CEO of the Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation, discussed the work and history of the foundation. He then held a listening and retention competition for the students. The 6 winners will be receiving iPads!

Prof Ali Dhansay, NSTF Chairman, congratulated the brilliants students and handed over certificates.

NSTF-South32 Awards presentation: The Brilliants students presented at the awards, explaining why they are studying SET.

Educational tour: The Brilliants students went on an educational astronomy tour to 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 consisted of visits to major astro-tourism sites in the Northern Cape, with associated activities. It was sponsored by the SKA SA. Read the Executive Director’s Message for more information on this exciting tour.

Top-up bursaries: The Minister of Science and Technology awarded 9 Brilliants students top-up bursaries.

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.

SKA SA undergraduate bursaries: The SKA SA is offering undergraduate bursaries. The application deadline is end of July. The bursaries focus on the following degrees:

– Bachelor of Electronic Engineering

– Bachelor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

– Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

– Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering

– Bachelor of Computer Engineering

– Bachelor of Science in Mathematics / Applied Mathematics and Physics

– Bachelor of Science in Physics and Electronics

– Bachelor of Computer Science, with co-major in Mathematics / Applied Mathematic