Meet the team

Meet the Management

Valentine Saasa

Valentine Saasa is the founder  of Caprcorn Educational Resource Centre. She is a young black female, PhD candidate who is applying science and scientific solution to improve the lot of humanity through her research. Ms Valentine Saasa holds a master’s degree Cum Laude in Biochemistry from University of Johannesburg. She is currently enrolled for doctoral degree with the University of Pretoria and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). She obtained her Bachelor of Science and honours degree at the University of Limpopo. Ms Valentine has published Journals, a book chapter, conference proceedings and presented her work in the area of nanotechnogy for development of sensors for diseases detection. In recognition of her illustrious contribution to science solutions, Saasa was awarded several awards from British council, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) and Department of Science and Technology. Valentine also holds a science communication certificate from Stellenbosch University. Valentine strongly believe research can only improve people’s lives if scientists are able to share their insights and the outcomes of their science at many different levels, ranging from small gatherings in rural villages to inter-governmental negotiating tables.

Makoana Washington

Makoana Washington is a Metallurgical Engineer by profession. He is currently employed at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as a Junior Researcher, under the Department of National Laser Centre. He holds a masters’ degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelors’ degree in Metallurgical Engineering, both which he completed with distinctions. He has presented his work in local and international conference. Washington has published his work in several internationally accredited journals in the area of additive manufacturing. He is also enrolled for a doctorate degree, in the field of additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing. Prior to joining the CSIR, he worked at various engineering companies such as SCAW Metals, Columbus Stainless and Forbes Bros. Foundry, as a Metallurgical Engineer.  Washington strongly believes that in order to tackle the triple challenges of our country we need to invest STEMI skills, talent and knowledge in young people, particularly from the marginalised areas.

Meet Board of Directors

Sandile Rikhotso

Sandile Rikhotso is a programmes coordinator at University of Limpopo Science Centre, who also has a passion for Science Engagement with 12 years of experience in the Science Centre environment. His responsibilities include managing and coordinating funded projects, teacher development programmes and science engagement programmes and projects development. He also assists in the general management as well as running marketing activities of the Science Centre. He holds a Higher Certificate in Business Management and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management qualifications. He received an Australia Awards Fellowship to participate at the Science Centre Leadership Capacity training programme hosted by Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) at Australian National University(in Australia) in 2017, where he received training in science centre management, exhibit and programme development, science communication, fundraising and many other related Science Centre aspects . He is currently serving in the number of committees within and outside the University of Limpopo that include Marketing and Community Engagement Committee(UL), Peer Evaluation Committee for Science Centre Accreditation and serving as a board member for Capricorn Education Resource Centre and Southern African Association of Science and Technology Centres(SAASTEC).

Sibongiseni Thabethe

Sibongiseni Thabethe is a South African leader who is passionate about bringing change in the science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) space. He strongly believes there is a lot more Africa can offer with regards to technological innovation. Having worked in research and development, Sibongiseni is constantly engaging and working with various stakeholders in ensuring that his vision becomes a reality. He holds an MSc Physics from the University of the Western Cape. His passion for community development has led him to start a non-governmental organization with fellow STEM professional, Hulisani Education and Resources Centre.