UKZN’s stand at this year’s Royal Agricultural Show in Pietermaritzburg has won a gold medal and the Trophy for Special Endeavour.

After weeks of planning and several days of strenuous set-up, the team of energetic volunteers from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science waited anxiously to hear the results of their efforts.

After the first round of judging, things looked promising when a new set of judges appeared the following day to take another look… and they obviously liked what they saw.

‘We were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and extra effort put in by the students and staff who manned the UKZN stand – they went the extra mile,’ said Royal Agricultural Society President, Dr Iona Stewart.   ‘That is why we awarded them the trophy for Special Endeavour.  Both the displays and the staff had that extra something.’

All fields of study within the agricultural, earth and environmental fields were showcased at the stand via carefully created 3D displays with University staff and students on hand to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with show goers.

Other schools within the College, including Engineering; Chemistry and Physics; Life Sciences; and Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, displayed their offerings and research projects in the upstairs section of the stand. 

The instant ice-cream created by the chemists was a winner with the crowds as was a simple device provided by the dieticians, which enabled passers-by to measure their body mass index (BMI) and find out for themselves whether their height to weight ratio was as it should be.

Another crowd-puller was Dr Tanja Reinhardt’s fun, interactive science experiments.  Aimed at the young, the young at heart, and those who simply want to know “why”, she soon had her audience ducking for cover as she shot rockets into the air and pelted people with marshmallows, fired from her scientifically modified vacuum cleaner!

As the premier agricultural event in the province attracting about 150 000 people over the course of the event, it provided an ideal opportunity to showcase UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science.

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