ASSA PretoriaOrion


Although we will not be able to see the 2012 Transit of Venus on 6 June 2012, ASSA Pretoria Centre did some imaging during the 2004 transit. The following websites contain the images. Our data was used as far afield as Denmark!

2012 Awards to Outstanding Members of the Laerskool Menlo Park Science Club.

From left to right: Danie Barnardo, Higgo van Biljon, Mia Kriek, Isabel Davis

The Pretoria Centre of ASSA has a friendly working relationship with a Primary School in Pretoria - Laerskool Menlo Park. The school has a Science Club, comprising about 40 children, and the Centre goes to the school about twice a year to give talks, and a viewing evening, for the student members of the Science Club, and for their parents.

 As an outreach gesture, the Centre approached the school with a view to giving some sort of sponsorship or a prize to a deserving member of the Science Club. The recipients were to be chosen on criteria suggested by the School. The Centre was given three copies of a book about the oceans by Lerika Cross, and the Committee decided to donate these as prizes. Lerika is the prime mover behind the annual Scopex Exhibition. The books were donations to Scopex, and Lerika made them available to the Pretoria Centre. The Centre Committee decided to give one book per year, plus a book about astronomy to the recipient at the school.

The contact person at the school is Isabel Davis, the Senior science teacher at the school. When Danie Barnardo and Michael Poll went to see Isabel to finalise the arrangements, she indicated that she appreciated the gesture very much and she was very excited about the project.

The following criteria were used to select a candidate for the ASSA prize: The recipient would be chosen from their general performance in science and they should have participated in Science Club activities for at least one year. Additionally the person would have taken part in the School Science Expo and the Gauteng North Science Expo. The recipient would also be assessed on their performance in the Department of Education Astronomy Quiz, and in the Mathematics Olympiad.

In the event, the School identified two deserving candidates. Their respective performances were so close that the School felt that there was no choice other than to select both as winners, so the Centre decided to give one book to each.

Higgo van Biljon received the "Ocean" book prize and Mia Kriek the "Ontsluit die Heelal" book prize.

The Centre is pleased and proud to be able to acknowledge two such outstanding learners, and we wish them all the best for the future.