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More than 100 entries have been submitted for the Smart Young Mindz Challenge, which is helping to raise the interest and participation of high school pupils in maths, science and technology.
This corporate social responsibility programme of Blue IQ is supported by the Gauteng department of education (GDE) and Sowetan, which has made the challenge a youth development activity of the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.
Smart Young Mindz encourages Grades 8, 9 and 10 pupils to study maths, physical science and technology. The challenge is aligned to the curriculum.
Pupils are also encouraged to investigate economic development, alternative and renewable energy generation and entrepreneurship challenges in their communities and to generate ideas for products or services that will fill a gap in the market that could become commercially viable.
Contestants will be pitting their wits, skills and talents against one another for more than R100000 in prizes for themselves and their schools.
A total of 120 entries have been submitted and the next step in the search for the brainiest maths, science and technology teams in Gauteng's high schools will be more than 10 regional eliminations, which started this month.
During the regional eliminations, which are coordinated and managed by GDE district officials, each district will select three finalists who will go to the finals at the end of August.
Smart Young Mindz was first introduced in 2002 to raise awareness and incite interest in maths, science and technology and as a driver of possibilities and growth for the untapped talent in our youth.
It also helps participating pupils realise that maths, science, technology and engineering can be fun and interesting. This will quash the erroneous perception that technical subjects are difficult. Smart Young Mindz also encourages team work among the pupils, teaching them that group efforts can be rewarding.
l If you have not yet entered the competition, please visit our websites www.sym.co.za or www.sowetan.co.za or contact your principal at your school. - Mandy Rutgers and Victor Mecoamere