#02 2021

SAEON highlights marine science careers at annual career summit

By Yonela Mahamba and Rebotile Matabane, Interns, Elwandle Coastal Node

The SAEON Elwandle Node collaborated with Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre in Kariega (Uitenhage) to present the second Annual Career Summit from 17 to 19 March.

The purpose of the summit was to equip learners with knowledge on the wide range of career options available in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for them to pursue when they finish high school.

The learners enthusiastically explored different career paths, collected information on learnerships and scholarships and engaged with industry leaders. Exhibitors at the summit, such as the Sustainable Seas Trust, merSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA), the South African International Maritime Institute, Propella Business Incubator, Eskom as well as the Siyaya Skills Institute shared career-related information with the learners.

Learners watching a video of scientists at work

Learners interacting with an online career activity

Virtual platforms 

The Elwandle Node used virtual platforms to convey information about marine science careers. Learners from different high schools around Nelson Mandela Bay were taken through a presentation providing background information on what SAEON does, why oceans are important to monitor, some of the marine instruments used to collect data at sea and the type of data they measure.

The presentation was accompanied by a video shared on a projector screen which aimed to give learners an idea of what the day-to-day job of a marine scientist entails and what these scientists typically do on a field trip.

Learners were then guided through an online marine science career platform developed by SAEON and allowed time to explore the platform on their own. They found the platform engaging and easy to use and were able to view a range of different careers.

A total of 139 learners (grades 9–11) from 10 schools attended the marine science career workshop. The majority of learners declared themselves willing to share the information they gained on the marine science career online platform with their peers who could not attend.