Science For Ubuntu
Science for Ubuntu (PTY) Ltd is a Science Research and Communication company that identifies itself as having key role to play in the development and promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) literacy, understanding and engagement in South Africa, Africa and the world. We do this through STEM Community-based research, Science Communication, Engagement, and Education with different stakeholders. We do this through STEMI Communication and its different branches through excellent service provision individually as a company, through partnerships with various institutions, different media, and various other outlets to be of service to our clients and society at large.
The name Science for Ubuntu encompasses what we hope to achieve - Humanizing Science. The word ‘Ubuntu’ is an ethical philosophical concept that originated in the Southern Africa region. It is derived from an Nguni word meaning “the quality of being human”. The word manifest itself through human acts and includes essential human virtues such as compassion, respect, altruism and humanity. These are the virtue that our company strives for through our everyday operations to humanize Science and make it humanizing.
We are a team of well-trained Science, Communication, Science Communication, Art, Media and linguistic experts and professionals. We dedicate our excellent skills, talents and passion in service to the promotion and development of STEM literacy through STEM communication - with a comprehensive understanding of socio-economic, geopolitical, and educational challenges that characterise our society - for the development & betterment of society.
Mission & Vision
To organize all sectors of society to use the skills, talents, passion, qualifications, enthusiasm, etc. to rally behind developing and promoting the public understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) to solve socio-economic challenges around the world.
To develop and promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Innovation (STEMI) as a conscious lifestyle for daily societal participation through Communication, Education and Engagement.
To be a dynamic social enterprise that promotes STEMI to be a multilingual, multicultural, multi-generational and international phenomena understood and used by all to solve socio-economic challenges, for the benefit and betterment of humanity.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
1. Journalism (Online and Print)
As part of our communication and promotion strategy, we produce and publish a monthly newspaper that houses 100% STEM content. The newspaper is published by Mbhogate Business Enterprise (PTY) Ltd, a 100% black-owned and managed enterprise. The newspaper is unique in that it publishes 100% STEMI content (with the exception of adverts and advertorials) in English and the articles complemented on the website in various indigenous African languages (under the multilingual section) with a general global focus and a concerted focus on rural and cultural innovations that address immediate problems in the livelihood of communities and their people. It houses articles on other global issues like health, education, climate change and global warming, African science history and culture, innovations, opinions, global STEM news, STEM competition information, mind puzzles, etc.
It provides services such as coverage, profiling of individuals (including ‘ordinary’ heroes and heroines in the communities) who are change-markers in STEMI, organizations, products and services. It further houses adverts, advertorials, inserts and other promotional and marketing material for clients in various sizes and languages for their targeted audience. When interacted with, this newspaper (1) promotes the culture of reading and learning, (2) promotes interest in STEM subjects, (3) fosters and promotes constructive parental and community participation in learners’ school affairs (parents would rather read a newspaper than a school textbook), (4) improve learners’ enthusiasm and engagement in STEMI subjects, (5) improve learner-parent interactions outside the classroom and subsequently, (6) improve the performance of learners in Science and Maths subjects.
2. COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH
In the research department, we employ a research approach that involves the community where the research is conducted. This can range from community representatives, resident community organizations, community individuals, etc. In this research approach, all stakeholders contribute positively by collaborating and sharing expertise and knowledge to ensure an inclusive decision-making and ownership of and in the research project. Here we enter into equitable partnerships where power, results, knowledge and appreciation is shared. We do this because we believe that our communities are not a just a site of data and knowledge mining but a fountain of knowledge production and impact studies. These studies can then produce impactful and sustainable behavioural social change that benefits the community when this pedagogy approach is employed. We consult for our clients and professionally execute their research goals and objectives efficiently.
3. Content production and translation
These services involve using our resources to (1) produce new content, and (2) translate our client’s original text from complex ‘Science language’ with technical jargon to simple and comprehensible spoken language without the confusing jargon while maintaining the scientific accuracy and context (STEM-accurate) of the original source text. We also translate from ‘complex Science language’ to isiXhosa, isiZulu, Setswana, Sepedi, Sesotho and Xitsonga. This ensures that the produced content is understood by a large number of various stakeholders/audience (general public, funders, fellow Scientists, policy makers, other professionals, etc.). In this section of services, the content produced and translated is given to the client to present to their targeted audience through a medium of their choice.
4. Third-party Engagement
Third-party engagement services refers to events events, activities and/or interactions characterized by a teaching and learning relationship using dialogue and other interactive means. When a client/partner cannot effectively and efficiently engage their audience, clients, stakeholders, etc. we step in as the third capable party to bridge the communication gap. We interact, liaise and/or present understandable and ‘community-friendly’ STEM content to the client’s audience on their behalf. We do this through various acts and methods with the intentions of successfully fulfilling the aims and objectives of the project to which our services are solicited. Such engagement activities include but are not limited to project descriptions to communities, community (engagement) meetings, presentations to non-scientist funders, school visits for career guidance, etc.
5. STEMI Education
In rural and township public schools, marks of STEM related subjects are low for most learners. Science for Ubuntu tackles this challenge and aims to eradicate it by rendering affordable tutoring services on weekends and extra classes during school holidays for High Risk subjects and increase the chances of access and success in and at Institutions of Higher Learning in high skills career paths at an affordable price. The lessons are offered in Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, English (FAL) Geography, Life Science, and Physical Science. During these classes and lessons, the learners are educated, mentored and tutored by qualified professionals in the fields of the offered subjects. The lessons follow a tailor-made teaching approach that maximizes positive attitude and readiness for assessments. During these periods, learners are also assisted with tertiary institutions applications and applications for financial aid with different companies, government departments and other agencies and also a workshop on Higher Education and Training readiness to encourage smooth transitioning from High school to tertiary.
Norms and standards of the content
The services we offer are effective and efficient and thus satisfying to and for the client. The produced content has to meet the “4Cs” criteria for it to meet Sci4Ubuntu standards. The “4Cs” criteria consists of Clarity, Concision, Completeness and Credibility and is described as follows.
1. Clear - The content is clear of technical jargon, generally accepted and unambiguous words and sentences must be used.
2. Concise - The content does not include information or reference to other projects or non-related information (Not even something that is related to the project) but explains all that is necessary.
3. Complete - The content must contains everything that includes the project or concerns it and ensure that it covers every typical aspect required for the reader to understand its context without having questions directly related to the contents of the project. We make it complete but concise.
4. Credible - The usage of relevant and up-to-date information that supports the idea.