Change the world


Sustainable Energy for All is the theme of the upcoming science expo at Glenwood House – a knowledge partnership between Glenwood House Private School and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The expo, which is open to the public on Thursday 11 October (14:00 – 18:00) and Friday, 12 October (08:00 – 16:00) features innovative technology displays and talks by learners, students, NMMU scientists and external experts.  

The public, businesses, schools (primary and secondary) and all tertiary institutions are encouraged to visit the expo which offers “something for everyone”. Entrance is free.

The expo will end on a high note on Friday afternoon with a fun-filled, lively and exciting EXPLOSIVE SCIENCE show presented by Experilab. The show is geared towards a better understanding of science and technology and is suitable for audiences of all ages. Science kits and novelties will also be on sale.

Organisations, businesses and initiatives such as WESSA, Omnisolar, Engenius Toys/Lego ©, Astro Tours and G3ECS, a group of “geeks” who meet once a week on a voluntary basis to “educate enquiring minds of all ages in the art of electronics and computers”, will also participate in this event.

Climate smart organic agriculture

Some of the interesting topics up for discussion include an overview of “Climate smart organic agriculture” - a talk by Prof Raymond Auerbach who co-ordinates the Agricultural Management Programme at NMMU George. His talk will cover “declining food quality, climate change and the need to change the way we farm so that we produce more healthy food with less water and less non-solar energy”. Exciting developments in ecological agriculture in the US, Europe, Egypt and Uganda will also be touched on, and the challenges for South African agriculture in our sensitive environment will be discussed.

Solar energy systems

NMMU Professor of Physics, Dr Deon Raubenheimer who is also a speaker at SCIEX 2012 says “Although South Africa produces a small percentage of the total global carbon emission, it plays a disproportionately large role, per person, in contributing towards the greenhouse effect”. However, he holds an optimistic view of our country’s ability to make a transition to the use of sustainable energy resources.  “Few societies in the world have a chance to re-invent themselves without having to go through a civil war, or economic collapse - I believe we can leapfrog beyond most of the developed worlds by mandating the application of sustainable energy resources which we are so blessed with”.

Another talk by Dr Frederik Vorster of NMMU’s Centre for Energy Research will give a brief introduction to the physics of the photovoltaic effect (solar cells), an overview of photovoltaic materials and a summary of solar cell and module manufacturing techniques. “With the tremendous increase in awareness of solar modules to produce electricity from the sun (photovoltaics) it has perhaps become more important to inform the general public of the basic operation of these devices and possibly also highlight pitfalls when acquiring solar modules for domestic use” says Dr Vorster.  

Contact, 044 871-4048 / 073 941 5372 for more information or to arrange for visits by school groups.

The Thursday lecture programme is repeated on the Friday – see the schedule below for further details:


Start time 11 Oct

Start time 12 Oct

Lecture Programme - Topics




The sun – star sustainable energy supplier

Hans Daehne of Astro Tours








Sunny SA goes solar - how viable is the Government's plans?

Glenwood House Gr 12 Student(s)







Fossil fuels to burn at Kusile - necessary evil?

Glenwood House Gr 12 Student(s)










The physics of solar energy systems

Prof Deon Raubenheimer, Department of Physics, NMMU Faculty of Science

Dr Frederik Vorster, Centre for Energy Research, NMMU Faculty of Science








Fracking the Karoo - is shale gas a viable energy source?

Glenwood House Gr 12 Student(s)







Fuel cells - will they ever deliver?

Glenwood House Gr 12 Student(s)








Climate smart organic agriculture

Prof Raymond Auerbach, School of Natural Resource Management (George), NMMU Faculty of Science



































Glenwood House NMMU SCIEX 2012: Description of exhibits

Table(s) manned by Engenius Toys/Lego © - Mindstorm Robotics and Engineering - all ages.

Experilab exhibit and show – EXPLOSIVE SCIENCE (Friday afternoon) and sale of science kits and novelties.

G3ECS - a group of geeks that get together once a week to apply their motto: “Learn, Make, Return”. This enthusiastic group of technology buffs give their time voluntarily to “educate enquiring minds of all ages in the art of electronics and computers”. They “take things apart, learn how they work then build new things – and document the process for all to share freely to better our world”. The non-profit club is completely free to school children.

George-based company, Omnisolar, will display their solar products.

Astro Tours will introduce visitors to the exciting science of Astronomy.

The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) will have a presence and display some of its projects.

Display including “farm scene” with hay-box cookers, related art and photographs. Food recipes (Gr 1)

Display area/tables with models of wind-buggies. A wind buggy race event possibly to be included (Gr 2)

Display area/tables with models and/or posters and/or pamphlets (Gr 3)

Display area/tables with pizza-box ovens and separate tables with windmills to illustrate wind energy to mechanical energy. Posters on sustainable energy (Gr 4)

Various sustainable energy poster displays (Gr 5)

Poster displays and simple models of alternative energy sources (Gr 6)

Poster displays and complex/bigger/upscale models of various sources of alternative energy, e.g. wind turbines (Gr 7)

Display area with “home- made” solar panels with related information reporting on the effectiveness of various designs (Gr 8)

Display area with biogas generators displays/models with related information in pamphlet or poster format (Gr 9)

Table displays of narrative essay anthologies and/or visual displays as poster and/or displayed as projected images. A selection of essays to be read as part of the lectures programme (Gr 8 - 10)

Thermal energy as a source of sustainable energy. Display area with models and posters/ slideshow kiosk (Gr 10)

Display tables with 3D Models of existing high-tech engineering utilizing solar energy, e.g. Solar planes/cars/boats/trains/buildings/power plants (Gr 10)

Working low energy lamps in display area/room - created for Eskom Design Competition 2012 (Gr 10 – 11)

Display tables with up-cycled hardware items on display, e.g. key-holders/jewellery made from obsolete hardware            (Gr 10 – 11)

Slideshow kiosk with presentation highlighting award-winning green architecture design and concept design. (Gr 10)

Display tables with 3D Models of electrical machines, i.e. motors or generators illustrating the principles of operation (Gr 11)

Research reports and displays highlighting energy consumption in IT applications (Gr 11)

Displayed projects with posters and/or looped slideshow highlighting the viability and cost of solar energy (Gr 11)

Dynamic model driven off solar panels that will provide for water pumping, electricity generation and running of a load from the generated source (Gr 11)

Display area with posters and slideshow – conflict and political instability as stumbling blocks preventing access to sustainable energy sources (Gr 11)

Table displays of narrative anthologies and/or visual displays as poster and/or displayed as projected images. A selection of pieces to be read as part of the lectures programme (Gr 11 – 12)

Display area/tables with information and displays illustrating student-driven sustainability projects (NMMU Green Campus Forum)

Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098