GE Next Engineers has been a wonderful journey since we took the first steps early this year. It has kept us all very busy and we’re thrilled with the results as more young people are exposed and encouraged to take STEM subjects seriously in preparation for related careers in the future.
This project is an ideal intervention to help build and sustain that momentum. Here is a summary of key activities we have implemented since we launched.
The GE Next Engineers Johannesburg City project launched on 24 February 2022.
Engineering Discovery – from February to July 2022
A staggering 617 learners were accepted into the Discovery programme for Grade 8 learners (500 were expected) and PROTEC, GE volunteers, and teachers completed 18 sessions, with a few more sessions planned for October.
The programme ran in 20 selected schools in Soweto, Roodepoort, Kagiso, Randburg and Lenasia, primarily on Saturdays, building awareness and expanding understanding of the work that engineers do through exploratory sessions. Volunteers were involved, delivering engineering talks, creative demonstrations and hands-on activities, all designed to inspire the young people about the wide world of engineering.
Engineering Camp – July school holidays
The GE Next Engineers camp took place in July at Wits University, for 208 Grade 9 learners – 122 girls and 86 boys – many from disadvantaged schools around Johannesburg.
The camp youngsters were accommodated at a Wits University residence that delivered a wide range of activities, challenges, prizes, teamwork, inspirational talks and presentations, and a lot of fun and excitement, not least because most of the learners had never before been exposed to an experience anything like it.
The learners were hosted on the Wits campus for the duration of the 5-day immersive camp, which brought out the best in our learners as they were removed from distractions and could envision themselves attending university. Activities included introduction to engineering, meet an engineer, engineer your life, lab tours, design challenges, and a lot of fun and excitement, particularly since the learners had never before experienced anything like it.
Engineering Academy – started on 5 March
The Next Engineers Academy is accommodating 50 students from grades 10-12, who have participated in 13 sessions to date, with more planned for the rest of the year. The attendance was an impressive 96% on average, and activities included: engineering talks, college and career readiness, and design challenges. Students are learning to think and act like engineers and prepare for tertiary education.
Together we are building our #NextEngineers!
PROTEC is a leading South African non-profit organisation, operating nationally in the field of STEM education since 1982.
Our donors make the difference. Their partnership with an NPO with a proven track record means that their contributions impact the lives of our future leaders.