Science generally comes with many complex terminologies, which makes science subjects such as geology, chemistry, biology a little hard to understand for many people. Tshiamo Legoale, a 27-year old South African geologist, recently won the FameLab competition, where science was to be explained in the most engaging manner. She broke down science to basic levels of assimilation in a three minute presentation where content, clarity and charisma was judged.
In what appears to be a spokeword poetry setting, this time filled with scientists, art seems to be inculcated into expression of science. The FameLabe, rightly termed science communication congregation is all about communication, not experiments.
The competition has been in existence for 12 years and has gradually spread internationally. According to the website, FameLab is all about breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three minutes presentation.
FameLab partners with the British Council and sees as many as 5,000 scientists from over 25 countries participate in the event. In the finals of this year’s competition, 31 countries participated.
There are few but crucial rules that guide the competition such as; having three minutes to present any scientific, engineering, mathematical or medical topic of choice, making no use of Powerpoint, and other electronic presentation or audio recording. The rules also state that participants only use props that they carry on stage without any additional time for set up. If one qualifies to the regional final a second presentation must be prepared. The second presentation could be on the same topic, but it must be demonstrably different in content.
Legoale who is the South Africa Famelab 2017 winner participated in the semi-finals. In the Youtube video her performance starts in the 46th minute. She talked about how wheat could be used to absorb gold extracts from the soil.
The judging panel which consists of three to five judges has two minutes to ask questions after each presentation and determine the winner based on clarity, content and charisma.
Other African countries represented in the finals of the competition include Uganda and Mauritius. Legoale whose supervisor introduced her to the competition described being on the stage as exhilarating. During the finals, Legoale talked about the translocation ability of plants, the ability of plants to move metals from their root to their shoot.
Legoale’s presentations had her singing different songs from Kanye’s Golddigger to Rihanna’s Work work work and a little of Adele’s Hello.
Her dramatization and energy were enough charisma, alongside the clarity of what she was explaining, illustrations she used and the weight of the content she talked about. In the 40th minute of the final competition, her presentation starts.