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​The annual Science Scuffle, held to promote science, technology, engineering and maths at schools, had four winners this year.
FOUR schools took top honours in the annual Science Scuffle, which has an overall theme of promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Learners hard at workLearners hard at work trying to find answersAl-Aqsa, with 135 points; Aster, with 121 points; St Theresa, with 108 points; and Basa Tutorial, with 101 points, each received books donated by Books Only and Pick n Pay gift vouches donated by Friends of Johannesburg Public Libraries. The final of the Science Scuffle took place on 10 May.

According to Alenor Duarte, the manager of satellite services, the department in charge of the Science Scuffle, the competition aims to teach children in grades six and seven how to find information using resources. In each round, including the library round, the regional round and the finals, questions are set from different books and learners have to search the contents pages to find the answers.

Each round has five separate sheets of questions with five questions each. The questions get progressively more difficult with each round.

At the start, each team is given a question sheet and a set of books from which to find the answers. Teams, made up of groups of five pupils, work at their own pace. As one question sheet is completed it is handed in to the markers and the next question sheet is collected.

Reference details have to be given with every answer. Failure to do so, or giving the wrong bibliographic details results in no points being awarded – even if the answer is correct.

Teams work together to find the answers to the questions.Writing on the question sheets must be neat and clear so that the answers can be easily read. After an hour, all question sheets are collected and marked while the general science knowledge round is conducted.

This round takes place during the last 10 minutes of the competition. Questions asked in this round are not based on any particular book, but are thrown out to the teams in general. The first team to raise its flag answers.

Each team can score up to five points per question answered correctly. No points are awarded if the bibliographic details for a given answer are incorrect or omitted.The team with the highest cumulative score wins the Science Scuffle.

This year, 533 students from 81 schools took part in the competition.

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