National Science Week is an annual initiative of the department of Science and Technology (DST) together with the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA). It is a nationwide celebration of science, involving various stakeholders and/or role players conducting science-based activities during the week with the primary goal of contributing to the development of a society that is knowledgeable about science, critically engaged and scientifically literate! The countrywide celebration of science is coordinated by NRF/SAASTA and takes place simultaneously at various sites, on all 9 provinces.




Each year a different theme is chosen, and activities are offered around the theme to the target audiences. The Nelson Mandela University launched the National Science Week on the 5th of August 2017 at Missionvale Campus under the Theme “Advancing Science Tourism”. In 2018, The Nelson Mandela University Faculty of Science hosted the NSW activities in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), George and Mvezo under the theme “Deepening our Democracy through science” in celebration of the centenary and the legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.



The Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible for the NSW to take place in 2020. In 2021 The Faculty of Science adapted to the new ways of doings things and hosted webinar (s) for National Science Week under the theme “Making it possible with science



NSW is a mass participation initiative within the context of the Science Engagement Strategy and its objectives are the following:

  • To popularize science to the broader South African society,
  • To serve as a vehicle for showcasing local innovations in science and technology, and the leadership role of the DST and other government departments in enabling research, development, and innovation,
  • To make Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) appealing to learners, such that they consider STEMI as preferable career options, and to familiarise targeted participants with the science linked to areas in which South Africa has knowledge and/or geographic advantage to contribute to making them informed and critically engaged citizens.
  • Demonstrate the contribution of STEMI to sustainable development and improved quality of life.
  • Create awareness of the South African inventions and discoveries that changed the world