|The Moses Kotane Institute Investing in Tomorrow’s Scientists and Engineers||2016-12-05|
On Monday of the 28 November 2016, The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) in partnership with Spring Light Gas (SLG) held the StemFest and I am an Engineer Prize giving in Isipingo Island Hotel. This event saw 14 schools being shortlisted for their outstanding work out of 100 schools across all Districts in KZN that participated in this competition.
The I am an Engineer Competition was established by the KZN EDTEA to improve the standard of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education while also creating interest in learners especially those who come from less privileged schools to become engineers. Learners were tasked to design a sustainable and eco-friendly house in order to create awareness about preserving the environment.
The MKI chairperson of Board, Dr Sakhile Ngcobo during his welcoming speech shared his life journey and he also encouraged learners to have a vision in life and to work hard. “People who are succeeding in life are people who are extraordinary in whatever that they are doing, it is therefore important to have someone in life that you refer a to as your mentor,” He said.
Mr. Tseliso Moahloli, who is the architectural lecturer at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) highlighted the adjudication process for this competition. He indicated that the adjudication took place in four regions over three days, traveling to and from the extreme ends of Kwazulu-Natal, to the districts of uGu, uMlazi, uThukela and uMkhanyakude. All the schools which participated, gathered in the designated municipal centers of the districts.
“The judges were generally impressed with the overall care and attention to detail together with the studious research done by the participants, clearly evident in the overall outcome that this was a task taken very seriously indeed. The most astounding factor in the entire experience, was the level and extent to which the participants understood and internalized the overarching issues related to the environment and the urgency of sustainability as a strategy for mitigating the effects of anthropogenic climate change,” He said.
The first prize went to Olwandle High School from Ugu District, they won the eco-friendly laboratory to the value of R1.2 Million, whilst the first runner up Bangani High School got a prize of R80 000 for school refurbishments and the school in third place Mthanti Com Tech received R50 000 worth of school refurbishments.
The MKI Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sibusiso Mpungose expressed his joy on the success of this competition. He stated that “the I am an Engineer competition allowed students to demonstrate their problem-solving skills while demonstrating a culture of working together.”