The Science of Perseverance

A heartfelt film about a young learner from the Gadra Matric School who is trying to improve her marks. Shulamite Mswela tells how she moved from her hometown in Port Alfred to Grahamstown, in the hopes of being the first scientist in her family. With the guidance from distinguished professor Dr Shivani Mishra from the University of South Africa, Shulamite learns that the academic journey is not that easy. Dr Mishra allows the viewer to see how human she truly is, as she voices her failures and upheavals. Like Shulamite, Dr Mishra had to assimilate into a new environment and make sacrifices. She has achieved countless accolades, whilst learning from her failures and never giving up. Shulamite and Dr Mishra’s paths meet and they share their stories of overcoming failure and perseverance.

Production by Daniel Tucker & Collette Prince


Ulwazi Lwakdala – Indigenous knowledge in Science

A short film about integrating indigenous knowledge alongside classroom science in Grahamstown, South Africa. It focuses on a research project started by Maren Seehawer and 5 local teachers aiming to discover how indigenous knowledge can inspire better learning, improve student contribution and make science more relatable. Through the experience of a school learner at Tantyi Primary School this film shows that indigenous knowledge has made a positive impact on his life and future career endeavors. It is an exploration of bringing two worlds, home and science, together.

The film begins with an avid learner, Lithe-tha, who was first introduced to indigenous knowledge in the classroom at Tantyi Primary school in 2015. His teacher, Mr Nuntsu demonstrates to us how he builds the bridges between knowledge at home and knowledge at school. A fundamental role in this knowledge project is encouraging students to bring back knowledge from their elders, parents and siblings on indigenous knowledge. Furthermore, we meet Nomzi who offers insight on indigenous practices and cultural values and why they are important. Later we meet Maren, PHD student, a member of the research project. She speaks on how indigenous knowledges can serve as a tool which not only offers alternatives to western science but also allow for a practical and relatable take on education. Lastly, Lithe-tha reveals the potential in integrating indigenous knowledge alongside classroom science. He inspires a hope in bringing about a change in the South African science curriculum.

Report by Tess Miles, Thingo Mthombeni


Hydrogen: is it the answer to our energy crisis?

This story is about hydrogen and whether or not it is a reliable renewable energy source. It is a film that creates awareness about the importance of renewable energy. The film features two scientists, Dr Henrietta Langmi who specializes in hydrogen and Dr Garth Cambray who specializes in biotechnology. On the one hand Dr Langmi speaks positively about hydrogen as a renewable source of enrgy and on the other hand, Dr Cambray counter argues this view. However, they both agree that in order for hydrogen to be a good renewable source of energy a lot of work still needs to be done.

Report by Abner Accom and Catharina Andersen


Scifest: Strive to Drive –

In a time when technology rules and everything is digital; kids choose to break out and crash into a physical world of soap boxes and fun. Instead of smartphones and consoles, a box car race lets kids get their hands dirty and having fun the old fashion way.

Teams of Grahamstown learners with some adults have a day to design, build and race basic soap box cars through the crowds at Scifest Africa. Great fun.

Production by Sebastian Burger & Sarah Knight


Scifest: Retracing our Steps

Join the inquisitive youth of Grahamstown on a journey into our shared history by retracing our ancestors’ diverse genetic journey to find a global shared humanity. With commentary by Ella Al-Shamahi, palaeoanthropologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer, we get a taste of modern scientific discovery and how this impacts issues such as race, poverty and education.

Production by Kellan Botha & Nontobeko Gumede


Scifest: OUT OF TIME

Mother Earth is suffering daily as the fuel for our cars are damaging her. The team from Scifest Africa and the youth of South Africa may be able to save her.

At Scifest Africa 2016, learners from across the country participated in workshops including Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Biotechnology. They learnt a thing or two about the importance of renewable energy. The workshop was hosted by SAASTA.

Production by Kayleigh Tuck & Stephanie Shumba