e² Young Engineers is bringing science, technology, engineering and maths to communities across South Africa
The recent Cape Town Science Week which ran from 07-10 August 2017 showcased some of the most interesting innovations and educational tools available in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. One of the organisations that attended was e² Young Engineers, a franchise company that combines more than 200 different lessons in STEM basics with Lego® and K’nex® models. It’s an edutainment approach to teaching kids about STEM and is designed to inspire them to get more involved in these disciplines.
e² Young Engineers franchises across the Western Cape got involved in the expo and created practical activities for attendees to enjoy. For the more than 40 schools and their pupils, the demonstrations and hands-on opportunities to play around with the tools were fascinating. The Glenbridge Special Needs School saw learners of various disabilities, from autism to visual/hearing impairment, take part in the e² Young Engineers demonstrations as well. These lessons are designed to allow for learners of all ages and abilities to engage with STEM and the children all had a wonderful time.
“We really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with the students and show them how the Young Engineers lessons work,” says Carmen Caswell, e² Young Engineers Cape Town South. “We also held a competition which gave all the schools and classes who attended a Young Engineers session the opportunity to win a full experience at their school. We only had 30 minutes per group of students at the expo so this will give the winning class or school a chance to really get stuck into STEM.”
The same week saw the national launch of the EDSA Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds with theoretical knowledge and practical implementation in STEM basics. The goal is to bring the principles of STEM to children from disadvantaged communities across South Africa, giving them the opportunity to learn according to their own capabilities.
Riana van der Westhuizen, founder and director at EDSA Foundation, explains, “We are committed to engaging with children through informative and entertaining lessons, igniting their love of learning from an early stage of their development. This commitment has seen us develop a fun and fulfilling curriculum alongside hands-on teaching and mentorship.”
For children who thought that STEM was a step too far, e² Young Engineers is setting out to show them that these fields are fun, exciting and very much a part of their future.