National Science Week 2010 celebrated at the University of Pretoria with the unveiling of the mounted Mirage F1-Cz aircraft

Posted on August 03, 2010

To support and celebrate this, the University of Pretoria (UP) hosted the kick off of all Gauteng-based activities of National Science Week (Monday, 2 August to Saturday, 7 August) with the official unveiling of a mounted Mirage F1-CZ Aircraft in front of the University’s Sci-Enza Interactive Science Centre.

Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, unveiled the aircraft, seen as an engineering marvel that represents UP’s interpretation of innovation. The Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, as well as members of the South African Air Force (SAAF) and other dignitaries attended the unveiling.

“I’m sure in time this ‘French Diva’ will become a landmark on campus and visitors to the Sci-Enza Science Centre will notice her grandeur and gracefulness, if not her beauty. I am sure many a youngster will look up at her and dream their own dreams,” said Gerrit-Jan Cronselaar, an UP aeronautical engineering student who, with fellow student Brett Kent, helped with the assembly of the Mirage last year. The SAAF 1 Air Servicing Unit as well as the SAAF Museum played important roles in the project by helping with the moving, mounting and signage of the Mirage.

According to Mrs Rudi Horak, Curator of the Sci-Enza Science Centre, it is quite fitting that the Mirage got a new home in front of Sci-Enza, which has been a gateway to science and technology for thousands of learners and students since 1977. “It is also quite fitting that the unveiling is done during National Science week. The work done during the coming week may, in a decade or so, effectively lead to an increase in the number of South African researchers, something which the University of Pretoria is, of course, passionate about,” Horak said.

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