Altair South Africa successfully hosted a group of local high school juniors as part of their STEM initiative. The goal of the Engineering Outreach Day was to expose the high school students to the many opportunities available in the engineering field.
“We have hosted students for job shadowing in the past but we wanted to provide them with so much more than a day following our engineers around the office, so we started to explore the concept,” explains Gronum Smith, Country Manager of Altair South Africa.
Schools in the area were invited to send students who excelled in science and math with great interests in the field of engineering. As space was limited, only 26 outstanding students were selected to participate in the Engineering Outreach Day. Students were primarily from Paul Roos Gymnasium and Rhenish Girls High in Stellenbosch, La Rochelle in Paarl, De Kuilen in Kuils River, and Hottentots Holland and Strand High School in Strand.
Companies in the TechnoPark/Stellenbosch area were invited to share their success stories and personal insights into the world of engineering, and were also enthusiatic to be a part of inspiring future engineering students. Six companies joined the event, which were Garmin (iKubu), Mix Telematics, Flightscope, Field Office, Retief Krige Industrial Design, and EMSS Antennas.
Apart from presentations and discussions on entrepreneurship, the young students’ problem solving skills were also tested. “Students were taken out of their comfort zones and tasked with building a Yagi antenna. Afterwards, their team structures were tested by EMSS Antennas,” explains Gronum.
The students were open minded, interactive, and extremely appreciative of the initiative. The main focus throughout the day from the presenters was to work hard, be passionate, take risks, be entrepreneurial, and realize that you will never stop learning. It was definitely a valuable experience for the students and we were very proud to be able to host such an amazing event for the younger generation.
“Our aim was to leave the students feeling inspired about the possibilities available to them. I’m confident that we achieved this at the end of the day and we look forward to inspiring even more students in 2016!” said Gronum Smith.