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World Science Day for Peace and Development – The true meaning behind the day

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How the year has flown! It is unbelievable that we are already in the second last month of the year and preparing for the December holidays in a year which seems like a total waste of the school year. Luckily, there are always reasons to celebrate and reflect of the good. Every 10th of November, World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated around the world, highlighting the importance of science in society and the need to spark wider public debates. 

We don’t often think about this as in-depth as we should, but it is of the utmost importance that everyone is kept up to date on what is happening with regards to new developments in science, as it affects our daily lives more than we can imagine. It’s all about sustainability and taking care of planet Earth that we call home.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) works with people, government agencies, and various other organisations to promote this day each year. Celebrations typically include:

  • Open days to highlight the importance of the role of science in peace and development
  • Classroom discussion to emphasise how science and technology affect our daily lives
  • The distribution of posters throughout universities and colleges, schools, and public venues
  • Arranged science museum visits
  • Visits to schools on careers in science and scientific presentations

We are currently finding ourselves in the midst of the global Coronavirus pandemic. UNESCO has opted to organise an online roundtable on the theme of “Science for and with Society in Dealing with COVID-19.” When we look at vaccines and science and technology that goes hand-in-hand with fighting global issues, it is so important that everyone stays up to date and understands what a crucial role new developments will play in our lives.

How can South Africa participate in this well-known day? It is the perfect opportunity for schools to engage and inspire learners in their classes. Teachers could easily build a lesson around this year’s theme. Previous themes included “Open Science – Leaving Nobody Behind” and “Science, a Human Right.”

For younger Foundation Phase classes, why decorate classrooms with a World Science Day display banner? Teachers could teach learners about famous scientists and their inventions or discoveries. Then, why not ask learners to design their own inspirational poster to display?

“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligence.” – Louis Pasteur

World Science Day for Peace and Development – The true meaning behind the day

AUTHOR

Inge Liebenberg

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