FOSST Director represents SA at International Nuclear Security Education Network in Vienna
Mr Phumezo Kwinana, Director of the Forté School of Science and Technology (FOSST) Discovery Centre is currently in Vienna, Austria where he is representing the country at the annual meeting of the International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN).
Established in 2010, the Network in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency under the United Nations aims to enhance global nuclear security by developing, sharing and promoting excellence in nuclear security education.
The Network achieves its objective through partnerships with educational and research institutions, as well as other stakeholders.
The purpose of the meeting held from the 18th to the 22nd of July is to review and revise INSEN’s action plan, and to discuss cooperation and collaboration with the International Network for Nuclear Security Training Support Centres (NSSC Network).
The country is represented by Mr Kwinana and five other South Africans who are members of the network.
Mr Kwinana is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture. His research interest are in science education, Nuclear Physics and Electromagnetics. He has published and presented papers in various conferences and journals.
In 2004 he founded the FOSST Discovery Centre on the Alice campus. The centre is aimed at enabling and encouraging high school learners to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with the objective to develop and produce Scientists and Engineers from underprivileged schools in the Eastern Cape.
As the Director, Mr Kwinana has established several collaborations with national and international institutions and companies to benefit the UFH community and learners from surrounding schools. This includes the identification of the University of Fort Hare as the first South African institution to establish a Remote and Virtual Education Laboratory (ReVEL).
Using coding and robotics, the ReVEL enables students to interact with peers from over 20 universities around the world on experimentations that address local and national imperatives in STEM. The lab also advances teaching and learning to address some technological inadequacies faced in local schools.
The FOSST Discovery Centre is also instrumental in the establishment of the University’s first-ever Aeroponics project, a process that involves "growing plants in an air or mist" environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium.
His efforts and passion to develop surrounding communities through his projects and research earned him the 2013 Vice Chancellor’s Award in Community Engagement in recognition of his community work.
As a member of the Network, Mr Kwinana has attended several Professional Developmental Courses on Nuclear Safety and Security offered by international specialists and has been instrumental in the participation of more than 24 UFH postgraduate students in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.
According to Kwinana, he is currently working on a project to introduce a Nuclear Remote Laboratory for Physics students.
Thank you Mr K for representing Fort Hare and South Africa on the global stage.