Coming Back – Kristen Birch

Production by Palesa Mashigo & Kirsten Allnutt

An auburn haired, blue-eyed beauty in a meadow making her way to an old house to reunite with her guitar is a picture that people associate with pop music sensation, Taylor Swift. Kristin Birch is a beautiful, talented young lady that could give Taylor Swift a run for her money. “Coming Back” epitomises serenity and longing. Kristin’s character is a restless soul that has been roaming the world because she has unresolved concerns that she needs to confront before she goes peacefully into the afterlife. The guitar she makes her way to represents this salvation.
This is essentially a story about a young lady who is re-connecting with God through her natural environment and her music.


Cameron Cordell’s Romanza

Production by Amaal Salie, Jacek Kaminski & Katja Schreiber

Cameron Cordell’s composition Romanza in C sharp major is a beautiful and moving piece of music, aflutter with recurring sweeping melodies. The simplicity and minimalist charm of his music allows the listener’s mind to wander freely. The video creates an aesthetic in support of the sound, rather than conjuring up a far-flung narrative. Cameron is currently studying towards his LLB at Rhodes University.


AfroBots at Scifest Africa

Report by Debbie Potgieter & Minette van der Walt

Switches, circuits and clever engineering, Scifest hosts the annual Afrobot competition in Grahamstwon; a platform which could possibly be the practical solution to the maths and science mark woes of matric students.
On the day of the competition after several robot battles, the final consists of a team from Graham College, Lando and team Floppy, two brothers from Somerset East. Brothers Joshua and Gideon Taljard walked home with first place after their robot, made out of old motors and floppy disks held together by cable ties and glue, stole the victory from robot Lando. Floppy had the advantage of a fully rotatable arm capable of rotating the dice to any number they so wished. This competition is testament to the fact that robotics is a fun and educational way to stimulate young scientists’ minds.


The Beauty of Science at SciFest Africa

Report by Palesa Mashigo & Kirsten Allnutt

For many, science is all about complex formulations and inconceivable experiments. Very few people can follow a career path in the field of science but Sci-Fest Africa reminds people annually, that science can be practiced from the comfort of our own homes. Rhodes University’s Pharmacy 4 students this year exhibited a collection of “home-made” skin products like hand sanitizers, body cream and lip balm.


FameLab Finals at Scifest Africa

Report by Robyn Perros, Raphaela Linders and Tassyn Munro

Famelab, “the pop-idols of science”, is a competition where contestants give a 3-minute presentation to a non-scientific audience. These scientists are practicing getting their science out into the public through the competition. The competition is open to anyone between the ages of 21 and 30. Nine finalists from around South Africa partook in the final on 15th March 2013 at Scifest Africa in Grahamstown.
Famelab is an initiative of the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. It began in 2004 and now includes 25 countries — the most recent being South Africa. It is a vibrant initiative which seeks out young, new voices in science, technology, engineering and maths. The nine finalists attended master classes in communication and public speaking prior to the finals. “They learnt a range ofskills, obviously public speaking, but also a lot about media and camera work too” said Robert Inglis, director of Jive Media, which sponsored the event.


Bloodhound SSC at Scifest Africa

Report by Amaal Salie, Jacek Kaminski & Katja Schreiber

Keeping up with the hype surrounding the Bloodhound SSC Project at this year’s Scifest Africa required a fast pace and sharp mind. Activities organised by the Bloodhound team abounded everywhere: lectures enthralled high school students while workshops saw young prospective mechanics assemble miniature SSC replicas out of cardboard and wood. Both young and old delighted in the thrill of sitting behind the steering wheel of the SSC simulator, vicariously experiencing what lies ahead for SSC driver Andy Green when he attempts to break the world land speed record on South African ground in 2014.