Partnership builds pupils

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Nurturing future astronauts, physicists, engineers, mathematicians and technologists is made easier by strong, strategic partnerships.

An effective illustration of this is the Smart Young Mindz Challenge nation-building partnership project.

It is open to Gauteng high schools and is powered by Blue IQ, Gauteng's primary driver of strategic economic infrastructure development and sustainable economic growth, the Gauteng Education Department (GDE) and Sowetan.

Smart Young Mindz (SYM) seeks to stimulate the youths' interest and competitive participation, performance and excellence in maths, science, engineering, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Mandy Rutgers, Blue IQ's deputy head for and communications, said this week: "The department's district officials are an important component.

"There are 13 district offices throughout the province and their role is to facilitate smooth two-way communication between head office and schools.

"The SYM initiated a process of engaging with GDE members at district level to localise the competition.

"District officials play a critical role in informing schools about the competition and encouraging participation.

"The partnership has helped to double the number of participating schools from 100 in 2007 to more than 200 in 2008.

"So far more than 90 schools have taken part in 13 induction workshops and touched more than 5 000 grade 8, 9 amd 10 pupils."